Still untitled.. Feedback please!!

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by Vyla, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Vyla

    Vyla New Member

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    Well hey everyone. I'm 19, and studying to be an Illustrator, but have always loved (and been told) that I am a good writer. So I've embarked on my first fantasy novel.. I'm trying really hard to steer clear of the cliches.. you won't find elves or orcs or wizards or big fire breathing things or anything remotely LOTR or HP in my stuff. Think more Willim Nicholson, if anyone has ever read the Wind on Fire trilogy :) I have the complete story already written in my head, it's just finidng the time to get it all down!!

    Anyway, here is the prologue, I'm currently 4 or 5 chapters in, and I wanted to know if this would make you want to keep reading:

    Prologue

    By a bronzed handful of trees, sat an old scribe beneath an ageing Ember. He licked his silvery quill wistfully, humming to himself a ballad that he had heard a girl sing on the road he had wandered away from that day. His cracked, ink stained fingers shook with age, as he scribbled into a tatty, leather bound book, muttering in ancient verses and dialects that he had picked up along his great travels.

    'There is a time that exists, or has always existed. It is far enough from what they understand for many to doubt, and yet close enough for one to grasp.'

    He paused, cocking his ears to the sounds of the woods; the howl of a peahen, the chattering of small birds, the babbling of a distant stream. He turned his yellowing eyes to the pale sky, before continuing.

    The day of enlightenment will come and then -

    His reflections were cut midstream by an unworldly screech in the distance. Then, just as quickly as the sound had arisen, there came the abrupt hush of the woods. Only the leaves stirred around him, whispering their unrest. A wind noiselessly whipped around the silvery wisps of hair that encircled his ears and age spotted brow. The sky rapidly grew dark, of a deep blue. Peering up at the heavens, the scribe feared rain, but the air was still. Curiously he scampered up onto his short little legs, still inspecting the sky, when, with a sudden yelp, he threw his arms across his weather beaten face.
    To the West, dazzling rays of silver light soared across the sky, as though from the tail of a magnificent bird. They rolled over the trees and the scribe’s head, still shielded by his hands, and onwards still. It was a brightness far more intense than any he had ever glimpsed. A feeling of power, and adventure and energy poured through his brittle bones, reviving him for a mere second of being youthful again, leaving his heart aching for another glance.
    But as he brought down his arms, and squinted upwards, the godly light had faded, and the sky had turned to it’s original watery hue once again. The scribe looked about him, and the wood was back to how it was before. He could feel the exhilaration he had just encountered seeping from his greying pores, age returning to his tired body. He fell to his knees, and began to frantically scrabble around the forest floor for his book and quill, before the memory died completely. As he hurriedly leafed his way through his manuscript, the scribe failed to notice the damage caused to his book.
    A single page had delicately torn out and was now dancing along the forest path, flitting away from the old scribe, following the breeze out and through the clearing. Unbeknown to him, it was the very last page he had just written, and the very last time anyone would witness the Azryon for a long while.

    Any feedback, good or bad, would be lovely :)
     
  2. Oeufa

    Oeufa Cracked Egg

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    It's quite good, rather short though, however some prologues are shorter lol! It had a nice rythem to it, so the peice was very easy to read. There's another author I particularly like, who has nice rythm in her writings too - Trudi Canavan. Ever read her books? It's like someones reading to you.... Anyway, back to you: The prologue is well constructed, and would have me curious for the next bit if only there was a little bit more! Anyway, I hope you'll post some more up soon, I'd like to read some more ^_^
     
  3. Vyla

    Vyla New Member

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    Well I didn't want a really heavy start to the story that people had to really get their heads around to continue. Just something to get you curious, which I guess worked. Here's the first chapter. I'd just like to add this is copyrighted work. Sad I know, but I've had people steal my words before.

    1
    The bushes grow

    Dynwor breathed deeply, the clean, calm air filling his beaky nose. He surveyed the placid land beneath him, hazy in the late months of spring. The lolling clouds, tumbling in the late morning sunshine cast long shadows that drifted sluggishly across Corym’s patchwork fields. Over the tops of the giant sap-filled Ember trees that bordered the area, I’dynwor spied the peaks of the Burvian Mountains, obscured from view by distant mists. The sky over Corym was a brilliant blue, and yet around the mountaintops, he was unsure if the sky even existed anymore. It had been so long since he had ventured into the Near World.
    Dynwor adjusted the robes around his feet. This set was an impressive cobalt, deep blue, lined with the embroidered silvery strands of dried wale’s tongue. Rare, not to mention expensive, but something the Sachem could afford. He prided his power over Corym. His father had been Sachem, and his grandfather, and so forth, so it was only logical that I’dynwor inherited the position. Success had been easy for him, but Dynwor had far too much pride over his power to ever admit that to himself.
    He reached up and fondled the single braid of knotted black hair, protruding from his pointed chin, careful not to unravel the entwined sapphire ribbon. In just a few hours time, he had to fulfil one of many duties that day, overseeing Corym’s tradition of an infant’s entrance to the city. Dimpfer Nish was almost two weeks old, wild, dark hair already sprouting in tufts across her delicate head. Her proud parents had hoped to hold the ceremony just beyond the city borders… though of course, this was forbidden.

    As the track wound round the corner of the leafy field where a herd grazed, Wisma Thrattle spotted her mother, Heldish, scrubbing at the side of the hen coop. She passed her rapidly, reluctant to help out around their shack. The sun was gaining height in the sky, and Wisma had no desire to work the ground in the heat.
    “Did you deliver the Sachem his eggs?” Heldish cried out to her daughter as she skipped passed. Ignoring the question, she trotted on, past the broad canes that were growing untamed on the next bend of the track. The field to the left belonged to Husher Huster and his family, where they grew sweet pods of corn.
    “Wisma!” her mother called again. But her voice soon faded behind the yards of land that Wisma was putting between herself and Heldish. She headed towards the giant Embers; their distinct fan shaped heads swaying gently at heights only winged beasts could reach.
    As she approached the edges of the Brooble fields, she stooped her little body slightly, and began to whistle, treading softly along the track.
    “Peew, peew!” she whispered, mimicking the call of some creature. She clicked her tongue a few times, and after a slight pause was answered by a rustling, coming from a bush to her far right. A tiny bird, no bigger than Wisma’s fist, bounded out from the undergrowth, scattering ripened berries from the bushes about it. Its coat was a mass of pale, grey blue feathers that shimmered a silvery hue in the early afternoon sunshine. The bird hopped forward a step, its bigger tail feathers, an iridescent silver, more visible now. It cocked its small head to the side, its pale eyes blinking in thought at the girl. Carefully, so as not to frighten the creature, Wisma produced the cracked egg that she had slipped into her pocket earlier, and broke away part of the shell, so the whites dribbled down her stubby fingers. She laid it before her, leaving the egg to spill onto the dusty road. As the bird followed her actions inquisitively, she stepped back and crouched some distance from the bushes.
    The bird ruffled her misty plumage uncomfortably, but kept a cool gaze on the egg. Then gingerly, one hop, and then two more, it arrived in front of the little pool of clear white that had oozed out around the shell. Wisma watched, recalling her little finding yesterday by Corym’s main well, which sat just several feet away amidst the Brooble fields. To her delighted surprise, collecting water at dawn for the day had become something of a discovery. As she wound the sloshing pail up and out of the well, the little bird had been perched on the handle, eyes tightly closed, silvery beads of water running smoothly off its glistening coat.
    It was a marvel to her how such a tiny thing had survived the depths of the well. The bird was still a chick, and Wisma had left her, hoping its mother would find her again. But today, as it pecked cautiously at the egg with its pale blue beak, there was not another bird to be seen. In fact, Wisma had never witnessed anything quite like her before. She saw now the bird had a crest of jet blue on its underside. Biting her lip curiously, she edged closer, but it had lost interest in the egg after only several pecks and was beginning to explore the rest of the track.
    She hitched the layers of filthy petticoat up from around her feet, when there was a sudden flash of silver ahead. Wisma blinked and looked about her. The bird had vanished. She pulled herself up slowly, flattening her palms to her sides in angst as her russet eyes scanned the ditched field and track.
    The clouds had clustered together protectively, creating a shield from the sun. But the air maintained its mugginess and it hovered above the track in waves that settled and swelled in the distance. Cupping her wrinkled brow, she looked across the Brooble fields, but her gaze was met only by bush upon bush, and the roof of the well, its slates crumbling with age. With a grimace she turned to the lofty Ember trees that now towered above her, just several yards away, threatening any view outside of Corym. There was no chance of even passing the sign that declared the city’s border. If she were to be caught lingering, there would be consequences that Wisma didn’t even want to contemplate. Swallowing hard, she squatted down to the track again, whereupon she began calling for the silvery chick in hope of an answer as earlier. But the reply that came was not one she had intended.
    “Wisma?”
    Startled for the second time that day, she met the boy before her with a freckled scowl. He was of a slight build, with tufts of sandy hair that sat forward of his head which now tilted in Wisma’s direction. The boy’s eyes were gentle, and yet held a wild, deceptive disposition about them. Green and copper flecked, they were a most unusual colour for a Corymian. In fact, Myo Blat was altogether a curious boy.
    “Don’t say a word!”
    He wrinkled his nose in bewilderment at the little girl on all fours in the dirt before him. She continued to chirrup, patting the track with a grubby hand. Myo knelt by her side, and peered into the shaded undergrowth of the Brooble bushes. After minutes of more squeaking he could take no more.
    “What are we looking for?” he whispered slowly. She turned to face him, her deep brown eyes narrowed.
    “I,” she said, emphasising the word, “am looking for a little privacy!”
    Put out, she scrambled up, and marched off, back to towards the city. Myo followed her with his gaze until the heat made her judder and dance in the distance. Standing to his feet, he glanced to his left at the shadowed trees, before picking up a wooden bucket, tattered at its worn edges, that he had set down upon coming across Wisma Thrattle. He swung it casually as, unnoticed, he slipped into the undergrowth of the field and headed towards the middle.

    It became warmer. He sensed the peculiar change in atmosphere as he was shut off from the track, and an indescribable intensity smothered him. He paused, listening to the field, but nothing stirred. Even the bushes had ceased swaying in the breeze. Strangely shaken, he placed the pail on the bench that mirrored the well.
    He headed for the centre of the field now, pushing his way through the dense Brooble bushes. His sister, Imkin, who was of the same age as Wisma, had contracted a cough, which had worsened since the night before. He was under instruction by his mother to pick Brooble leaves, which she could stew into a sweet, healing tea. But Myo knew the juicy ones grew wild, far out into the vast field, which had become uncultivated land over the years.
    A few yards away from the well’s clearing, the earth beneath his skindels turned a mahogany red. Recognising the signs, Myo sheathed a small chipped dagger from his side, and began cutting away dark green leaves from a large bush, which dripped with berries, like a gem necklace. Before long, he had acquired a good handful from quite shallowly into the ground, and he trod back to the clearing. Startled, he found the wooden bucket at the foot of the bench, rocking slightly on its side. Pulling at the blonde hair on his nape in confusion, he looked about him. The air was static once more, and seemed to cling to his every breath. Suddenly overcome by the same violent silence, his mouth turned dry. He swiftly retrieved the pail and tossed the Brooble leaves in, stumbling out of the clearing and back up the track to the city.
    The sun had now broken through the clouds and resumed its position in the sky, flaming as ferociously as ever. Its rays cast down over the city and the lush fields that bordered it, falling in particular at an angle over the wooden bench opposite the well. From the shadows beneath it, there was a flurry of excitement as something rearranged its jet blue feathers. A pale beak protruded from the shade, strangely affected by the boy’s presence.
    “Peew.” It remarked.

    The Sachem pinched the damp earth lying in his cupped hand, and sprinkled it lightly over the head of the baby girl. Gently, with one long finger, he smeared the earth first down the length of her small nose, and then dotted her cheeks twice, blushing them with mud. She began to wail quietly, her eyes squeezed shut to the sunlight that slanted across the crowd like great shards of glass.
    Byfer Nish tightened his arm around his wife, Tarwin, as tears pricked his eyes. This had seemed like a distant dream to the couple, and yet suddenly it was upon them as clear and sharp as the day. They had been hoping for a family since they were first betrothed almost seven years earlier, and though Tarwin’s pregnancy had been clouded with uncertainty, it suddenly seemed like a worthwhile struggle. Friends and Family were gathered beneath the largest Ember tree in the city, a common ground for citizens alike to meet and hold their traditional ceremonies. The shadows of the branches swaying above in the light breeze scattered over their faces, quiet and appreciative of the new addition to the community. Dynwor reached under the bundle of cream cloths that Tarwin Nish cradled, bringing the child to his own chest. Dynwor beckoned her parents to conduct the final part of the birthing ceremony. They stooped low to take a little earth from the soft ground beneath them, and rubbed it gently between thumb and forefinger. First Byfer, then his wife smudged their child’s left eyebrow so that a small, singular mark was left, staining the top of her little round and blotchy face. Dimpher opened her mouth emitting a long bawl. Tarwin shushed her quietly and taking her back from the Sachem, rocked her in keeping with the motion of the tree’s leaves that moved silently above the crowd.
    “Today begins your journey,” Dynwor’s words were soft, yet held an authority that seemed to captivate everybody’s attention. “Today marks your safe entrance to our world…” At this he stopped addressing those before him and turned to Tarwin, who spoke in a shy and hesitant voice, “… Dimpher Nish.” She smiled uncertainly, glancing up at her husband who squeezed her hand tighter. I’dynwor continued.
    “May your family shape you and love you, as you will one day love back. May your city assist and protect you, as you will one day assist back. May you walk in the steps of those you follow, and look back to those who follow you.”
    Yuma Blat dabbed her eyes gingerly with the corner of her sleeve. Many of the guests, like her, moved their lips to the familiar words, unaware that they were doing so. Myo looked across at his mother and knew that she was remembering the time of his younger sister’s own ceremony, ten years ago, a remarkably different occasion to this one. Her cheeks were spotted red, her eyes slightly crinkled at the edges, and her wispy fair hair, now tinged grey at the ends, was loosely pinned up with two twigs that criss-crossed each other at the back. But despite her slightly frayed appearance, Yuma held herself well, her grounded posture a valid indicator of the respect she had gained within Corym’s walls. She was a simple and honest woman, strong and certain in all she did, and it was rare for Myo to see her upset. Uncomfortable, he closed his eyes, digging a fingernail into the palm of his hand until it hurt, to stop the tears that were rising in his own throat. The glare of all the many colours that bounced off each person before him were beginning to make his head throb. It was one of the reasons he could never be at ease with a large group of people. Being an Empath was a gift, as his mother always hastened to remind him, but to Myo, it often felt like a curse. His mind was riddled with everyone else’s feelings, until it was quite impossible for him to distinguish his own. He liked the nighttime best, when all was calm, and a soft blue hue settled over the city. As it’s citizens slept peacefully, he was free to think on his own accord. The starlight never dazzled him completely and interfered with his thoughts in the same way that the Sun did.
    Yuma laid a hand on her son’s shoulder, anxiously. Squinting his eyes open he noticed the mustard yellow glow emanating around her shoulders, a deep indigo dancing off the edges; pain, lack of ease, and a deep sensitivity. She was thinking of his father. People were now crowding round the young couple to congratulate them, or casting admiring looks in Dynwor’s direction, praising his duty to their beloved Corym and its people.
    “Let’s go.” said Yuma.

    Myo’s shack resided on the main track that had been cut into the hill, close to where the Ember trees gathered around Sachem Dynwor’s quarters. The road was wide and as sandy as the track that led out of the city, but small stones had been strewn across it in order for cartwheels to turn properly.
    The shacks scattered the length of the track on both sides, the ones to the left teetering precariously on an edge that dropped to the expanse of land below. Underneath, more shacks had been skilfully cut into the rough, white and chalky rock that made up the base of the main track. These shacks had mainly been designated to the land workers of Corym, their homes opening onto the fields that stretched like outreaching hands to the Ember trees.
    The day was as cheerful as ever, the sunshine slanting across the main track, as it began to dip slightly behind the great Embers.
    The Blat’s shack incorporated the muddy hill face, a steep verge, although not quite vertical, with a large circular door hanging upright on its wooden frame. The door was old, possibly the oldest along the track. It was of a dark wood, riddled with crooked grooves that etched its entirety. The grain blurred and dispersed around the black knots that dotted the entire surface, broken up only by the silver teardrop knocker that Aw’ny Spith, Corym’s silversmith, had cast as a gift for the widowed Yuma, some years before. A pane of rectangular glass had been roughly embedded in the smooth woodwork, sectioned by two knobbly Ember twigs.
    A dipped hat from neighbour Iakel Pert signaled their arrival home. Yuma twisted the silver knocker and heaved the door open. An orangey light cast about the shack, delving parts into a crosshatched shadow from the framed windows. The rooms were a simple off white, but heavily embellished by incredibly useless odds and ends; battered tin clocks, interesting river wood, and even clay paintwork, washed over the angular walls roughly. Ahead, the door was closed on the sleeping room, where he could hear his sister Imkin’s occasional muffled coughs. He kicked his skindels to the side, where they landed on a woven reed rug, and moved towards the open hearth in the heart of the shack.
    The burning logs glowed in their circular surround, crackling gently. A pot of stewed Brooble leaves bubbled steadily above, but it was the Ember wood that emanated the heavy scent of spice. Yuma bustled out of the storeroom carrying a small and shallow wooden bowl and flat handled spoon. Her aura had returned to its recognisable pale yellow and emerald green heart; love-centered, optimistic and intelligent.
    “Go and fetch your sister for me, Myo.” She said, dipping the bowl into the pot.
    “I’m here.” A small, skinny girl croaked her entrance, rubbing one eye sleepily. She was small for her age. Her thin, straw-coloured hair was tangled and flattened from what had evidently been a restless sleep. An enormous ginger cat, wide whiskered and dark eyed, wound round her ankles, surveying the scene tentatively before him.
    “How are you feeling, Imky?” Yuma fussed around her, touching her forehead and flushed cheeks with every part of her hand.
    “Okay.” She wheezed, though Myo knew better. A sickening muddy grey, glowed from her chest. Her mother frowned and lifted a spoon from the bowl of Brooble stew, the leaves blackened and floating. Imkin wrinkled her little nose, distastefully as she consumed a mouthful. Tinpol, the cat, snaked his brush like tail up her leg, protectively.
    “Swallow.” Instructed Yuma. She screwed up her eyes, and pinched her lips until the formula was gone. Myo smiled at his sister.
    “Ma, can I go outside now?” she followed after her mother who, now satisfied, had turned briskly back to the storeroom. Tinpol trotted at her heels obediently.
    “No, Imkin.”
    “Please, Ma… Myo will keep eye on me, and Tinpol.” She scooped the cat up, his fur spilling over her thin arms. Yuma sighed at the pathetic look on her youngest’s face, hands on her two large hips. “Please?”
    “Well, if you wrap up… and stay with your brother. It’s already darkening outside…” she said glancing out the window. “Myo?”
    Myo looked up, suddenly lost in thought, his concentration returning to the shack. He knew where he would be going. “Yes, okay.” Yuma frowned at her son, cross-legged and staring intently into the fire.
    “I don’t want you going and getting sick yourself.” Myo noticed the pale yellow deepen around her. He stood up and led his bounding sister to the door. They pulled on their hats, grey and woolen, the earflaps falling thickly over the sides of their faces. Yuma watched her two children leave the shack and walk together along the track, Tinpol padding slowly behind. The setting sun up lit their faces and stretched their shadows into willowy shapes on the stony ground. It had been one month since Myo had turned fourteen, and in Corym that meant entry into manhood. The term made Yuma laugh. Physically, he was no more a man than she was. Shy, with little friends and indifferent of his life. But though Myo seemed as naïve as the dawn, she knew of his gifts, of his bravery, of his deep comprehension of the people that surrounded him, of his uninstructed wisdom. He had taught himself to trust the colours and ignore the chatter. They thought he was silent because he was dull. Though Myo couldn’t see it yet, Yuma knew, as she had known before, that somehow Myo was not destined for Corym. Or rather, Corym was not destined for Myo.

    The track was mainly deserted, save Maur Hefflemerle sweeping the entrance to her shack. The heat from the day still clung to the air slightly; though each appearance of a new star in the tops of the violet, cloud scudded sky, brought a chill with it. Imkin skipped ahead, Tinpol chasing her, elated to be free of the confines of the shack. Her aura glowed red, echoing the setting sun in the distance, but the dirty grey centre remained. As they descended towards the fields, she turned and ran back to Myo, clutching his hand.
    “What colour am I?” she wheezed. He smiled at the familiar game they had played since they were very small.
    “Red.” She looked puzzled.
    “But I’m not angry?”
    “No, it’s a deep red. You’re excited and full of energy out here.” Imkin thought for a minute then said,
    “Nope. You’re wrong.” A dark pink tinged the colours dancing around her small frame: dishonesty, immaturity.
    “And you’re lying!” He tickled her neck making her shriek with laughter, her aura shining so brilliantly it made him squint. Eventually her joy turned to shuddering coughs echoing out across the fields in the twilight.
    “You’re also still ill,” Myo noted, stopping to tie the two threads that hung from the earflaps of her hat under her chin. She wrinkled her nose playfully, as she so often did.
    They walked on, Imkin struggling to carry all of Tinpol in her arms. Unlike Myo, she was unaware of the direction they were headed, and they soon came to a stop just before the city border, the old well to their right. Imkin put the cat down, who scrabbled off to investigate the narrow ditches lining the Brooble fields. Brother and sister stood side by side, silently contemplating the lofty Embers, silhouetted against the darkening evening. The huge trees blocked out any light from behind that might have reached the city, plunging their faces into shadow.
    “Let’s go beyond the border.” Imkin turned to look up at Myo, two bright spots gleaming in her eyes, reflecting the ever-present moon that gained height above them. The sudden statement seemed brash and dangerous in the stillness of the fields. Myo felt like a stone had been dropped into the night, sending a vast, unseen ripple across the land.
    “You know we can’t.” he said gently.
    “Why? Because the Sachem won’t allow it? Because we have what we need right here?” Her aura flashed a dazzling gold, clear and bright. “Because this city assists and protects us?” she sneered at the words of Corym’s birth ceremony. “Don’t you ever… ever want to just… know?” Her spirited words rang out into the quietness. Myo opened his mouth to say something when a ferocious yowl and a hiss erupted from the Brooble bushes. Their heads snapped round behind them, temporarily relieving the tension, only to see Tinpol roll out, clawing and swiping at the air.
    “Tinpol?” The cat sprang up, jumping in all directions. He shook his coat, sending droplets of water flitting over the track. Imkin ran over, a touch of trepidation in her step, and lifted him. “He’s soaked!”
    The cat’s ginger fur hung in sodden clumps from his shivering body, clinging to Imkin’s arms. “He must have fallen down the well! Oh Tinpol! Oh, poor, poor cat.” Myo frowned.
    “No. No, he can’t have. How would he have gotten out? He would have drowned.”
    “Oh, poor puss.” Imkin cradled him and did her best to rub him down. His aura shone a bright lemon yellow, clashing magnificently with his coat. It was instantly recognisable; fear of losing control, prestige, respect. Myo moved to the bushes surrounding the well, his skindels crushing the fallen Brooble berries that Tinpol had scattered. Their red juice bubbled out and stained the sand of the track.
    Once in the clearing, the same feeling of being smothered wrapped itself around Myo’s body once more, but unlike that afternoon, something was very different. He pulled at the hairs on his nape in wonder. How could it be?
    “Myo?” Imkin called from the track.
    “The bushes. They’ve... they’ve grown. At least a foot, since the afternoon.” Their leaves encircled his head, enclosing the space around the well even more. The bench was only partially visible, the bushes having engulfed most of it.
    “I don’t understand. There’s a drought.”
    “Nothing grows that quickly anyway.” whispered Myo. “And the ground’s still dry as a bone.” He scrabbled back through the thick greenery onto the track.
    “Maybe... Maybe the roots are deep. As deep as the well.” Offered Imkin. He shook his head slowly. A breeze emanating from the shadows of the Embers curled around their still figures, swaying the bushes slightly and sending a low hiss into the night.
    “Magic.” Imkin breathed. They looked at one another. “I heard Maur Hefflemerle speak of strange folk. People been whispering witchcraft, Myo.”
    “In Corym? Oh, aye.” Myo said doubtfully. But her aura had dimmed to a dark, metallic violet. Intuitive, visionary, receptive. She still held the dripping cat close to her chest. Her brother looked back to the Embers. He could feel the breeze licking his legs, blowing flecks of sand across the track. The moon had risen high above the back of the fields, tinging the treetops with a silvery line.
    From the corner of his eye, something flickered in the depths of the Ember trees. Myo staggered back. Imkin had seen it too.
    “Myo, I want to go.” Fear had seized her little voice. The breeze had disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. Silence stung the air once more.
    “Go, quickly.” he said. “Run.”
    “You’re not coming?” Her voice was incredulous.
    “I just want some more time alone. I want to rest my eyes for a bit. From the colours.” Imkin blinked, then turned and ran awkwardly, the cats tail flailing limply as she headed back up the track.

    As her footsteps dwindled away, Myo ventured back into the clearing. He had not been seeing things the first time. The bush tops still stood high above his head, higher than any crop in Corym. He circled on the spot, slowly eyeing every plant around him under the moon’s soft light, then stopped and bent low to the ground. He picked a stone and threw it into the well. It was several seconds before he heard a very faint plop. There really was very little water.
    Still baffled, he reached up and took off his hat. The same suffocating feeling was still present, and it gripped Myo harder at the realisation that he could not rely on his gift to determine what it was that bothered him this time. The clearing was dark and colourless. He was definately alone.
    “Peew.”
    Myo spun around fast. The bushes were still and unchanged. Had he imagined the noise?
    “Peew.” There it was again. A short squeak, like a... like a bird, thought Myo. But his eyes were met only with the black night as before. A bird would surely glow in the darkness to him. His senses heightened, a fluttering around his feet caused Myo to squint at the ground. He bent low and listened intently. And then, as though never hidden in the first place, the silvery silhouette of the tiny bird became clear to his peering face. Taken aback, Myo stumbled, losing his balance. The bird hopped closer. He could see a small head cocked to the wind, a streak of blue, highlighted only from a slither of moonlight that had edged its way through the enormous bushes. The bird blinked, then hopped towards him again. Myo swallowed hard. His heart pounded his chest cavity; he was surprised it hadn’t scared the small creature off. In fact he was surprised the bird had already come so close. But Myo already knew it was he who was the more fearful. For the first time in the entirety of his life, apart from himself, this living, breathing animal, had no aura. And it frightened him.
    Myo sat up off his elbows, and scrabbled back another inch. The bird had reached his flattened palm, which she pecked lightly with her pale beak. Bird and boy stared at one another. Myo shivered. The inexplicable intensity had suddenly been lifted. His breathing finally calmed, he gingerly moved his hand to his lap. The bird followed, hopping contently onto Myo’s knee. Her spindly legs poked his skin.
    “Peew!” She looked at him inquisitively. She has no aura, Myo thought, but something about her still gleams and stirs. He lifted his hand to touch her silvery feathers, when she alighted onto his fingers. There his hand quivered midair; the little bird perfectly quiet now, perched comfortably. Myo was scared to move incase she took off. He no longer feared her presence, merely wondered at it.
    As if tempting fate with the thought, there was a rustling deep in the Ember trees that shook the silence, and the bird’s confidence. As Myo turned back, uncomfortable at the strange noises, he realised that the bird had disappeared as abruptly as it had arrived. He scrambled to his feet again, feeling dizzy at the height of the bushes. Had they grown even higher since the appearance of the bird? The thought struck a chord with him, but as his mind tried to keep up, there were more strange noises and... Were those voices coming from the trees? Imkin’s words of witchcraft echoed in his head. The uncomfortable atmosphere seemed to have returned to the clearing and made Myo feel vulnerable once more. The little bird was suddenly far from his mind.
    Walking swiftly up the track to the city, he glanced back at the looming trees that made up Corym’s border, then realised with horror, that the second moon had risen. It was inexplicably late. How had so much time passed? Myo’s head was swimming with questions, so much so that as he approached the shacks, he failed to notice the presence of a shadowy figure, also obliviously sweeping towards him. They collided awkwardly. Myo looked up.
    “Sachem?” He asked disbelievingly. What business had he at this hour around the city? The Sachem narrowed his eyes at the sight of the scrawny boy at the end of his nose.
    “Blat.” He said, coolly. Myo dipped his head, but said nothing. Dynwor paused, then said, “Tarwin Nish. Panicked, when little Dimpher developed a cough this afternoon. I have been... tending the family.” He pinched his lips into a thin smile. Myo looked up, puzzled at how quickly the Sachem was to speak, and then nodded.
    “Why were you in the fields this late?” His tone had changed.
    “Forgive me Sachem. My sister is unwell herself, and my Ma sent me to pick more Brooble leaves to soothe her chest.” Dynwor’s expression remained stony, and then relaxed somewhat.
    “Very well. A man now, are we not, Myo?”
    “Yes, Sachem.”
    “Get home.”
    As they parted, it did not strike Dynwor that Myo carried no Brooble leaves about him. Myo was going to tell him of the mysterious noises that he had heard emanating from the border, but had suddenly decided against it. Looking back over his shoulder at the Sachem now, he could still see his aura, glowing very clearly a murky pink. Dishonesty.

    The Sachem was lying.

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    Last edited: May 8, 2007