Author’s note: This story is the prologue to the newest series I’m going to be writing. Hope you enjoy it! Here’s the playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3IqDlAbEulNSW3j7ryoDZH
Warm foam envelopes my hand as I scrub the pan over the sink. I feel a tug on my skirt as my little sister, Aabirah, begs for more dumplings. I set the pan on the counter and bend down. “No, eskay. I have already started washing the pan.”
She pouts and her blue eyes grow huge. I flick her gently on the nose, and foam flies everywhere. “Don’t look at me like that, I know what you're doing.”
She sighs, “I almost got you that time, Carasik.”
“Nooo, not even close.”
I smile as I straighten back up and continue washing the pan. I glance out of the window and in the distance I can see the dark silhouettes of my parents working in the rice fields. It is nearly eleven at night. I can’t pretend I don’t feel guilty. They overwork themselves so that they can afford to send me to Portas to become an apprentice for a knight.
Ever since I was as young as my sister, I’ve been obsessed with becoming a knight. My mother would read me stories of epic quests and powerful heroes, and all I wanted was to do what they did, to become a legend.
Now, it’s a week shy of my tenth birthday and we have nearly enough money. I have been saving for years, and both of my parents have harvested more this season than any year before.
Aabirah yawns as I finish rinsing the pan. “Come on,” I murmur, gathering her in my arms “time for bed, yeah?”
She buries her head in my shoulder as a response. I slide open a door and place her on the floor. I grab a bed roll from a nearby shelf, barley having to use my tippy toes. I fluff out the pine green bed roll, filling the room with a gentle scent of sage and lavender.
I lay her down and she’s asleep before I have a chance to kiss her goodnight. I brush her hair out of her face, and blow out the lamp, leaving the room bathed in milky blue light from the moons. I whisper “May the beacon light your dreams, sistra.”
I slide the door shut behind me. I emerge into the main room, dimming the lamps as I go. I pause to water a bonsai that rests in a shallow dish. Out of the corner of my eye a light flares in the rice fields.
I move slowly towards the window, alert. Suddenly, the door bursts open with a crash. I yelp as I spin around. My mother flies into the room and my father bolts the door hastily behind him.
I cry “What’s going on?!”
My mother kneels down in front of me, and she takes my face in her hands. “There is not enough time to explain, Carasik-”
My father cuts her off “Mira! We need to hurry!”
My mother looks fearfully back at him, and then back at me. “Listen very carefully, eskay. You must go to my room and take all of our savings from the ebony dish I have there. Then you must take Aabirah to Portas. Use the money to become a knight. Protect your sister, listen to your instincts, and may the Beacon light your path. “
I gulp, frightened by the tears in my mothers eyes. Then I nod. “Good,'' she whispers.
I take a long look into her gentle freckled face, her soft green eyes, her long, deep red hair. Then I run, slamming open sliding doors until I reach my parents’ room. I look around wildly for the ebony dish.
I find it on top of a low table. It is beautiful, shallow, and engraved with runes and glyphs, the ebony, snow-white and smooth. I take off the lid and it is filled nearly to the brim with round coins of various sizes and colors. I take them all and fill my pockets.
I dash out to find my parents shutting every blind, closing every curtain, locking every door. I’m about to go back to Aabirah’s room when there’s a knock. Everyone freezes. My father moves slowly toward the door, and my mother turns to me, “Carasik! Hide!”
Without thought, I scramble across the room and squeeze under the low couch. My father opens the door at the exact same moment. He is immediately thrown across the room, and lands on the floor with a smack.
My mother screams, and I can barely stifle my own. My father struggles back to his feet, and looks toward the doorway. From there a voice issues “Shurik Kaczka. I have been merciful toward your family for the past year. I have lent you money, and more money, all for your brat to go apprentice in Portas. So touching…”
I can’t see the speaker, but I can tell they are smirking.
“But now, Kaczka, I want my money back.”
My mother leans forward “Please, we have no money, let us finish out the season, I’m sure we can pay it all back to you-”
“Too late.” the voice snarls. A flaming arrow flies from nowhere and lodges squarely in my mother’s chest.
She shrieks in agony, and collapses as flames engulf her. My father screams. He tries to hold her, but she crumbles to ash in his hands. The fire spreads so much faster than normal fire.
“NO!” I scream.
My father turns his grief stricken face to me. The fire roars. I can see his mouth form the word “run.”
I scramble out from under the couch and leap out of the nearest window without thinking. I tumble to the ground, and I bury my face into the cool grass, choking down a sob. I realize I forgot Aabirah.
Panic-stricken I turn, but now the entire house has been engulfed in flames. Smoke pours out of windows and from under the roof. I scream for my father, my mother, and my sister. But in my heart I know it is too late for any of them.
Tears blind me as I stumble away from my burning home. I flee blindly into the night, terrified of being found by the murderer of my family.
I set off for Portas, to fulfill my destiny. Alone.
Even the Beacon won’t be bright enough to light my path, now.
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Wow, just wow. I love this! Uh, to the critique: a small grammar mistake; 'her blue widening'...eyes? That's it mostly, lol, also, it may just be me, but I feel a lil overwhelmed when there's a lot of action in one paragraph, so maybe you could slow stuff down a bit? Or probably that's just me, lol. Anyways, I absolutely loved this and looking forward to the next part!
Oh thank you so much! I didn't even notice that! Thank you!! :D
Also, you are Inactive? Just super busy? I get that!!
I'm not exactly inactive, but my weekends have been packed lately, which doesn't leave a ton of time for writing, but hopefully another part will be coming out this week!! :D
Doooood! OMG, this is the start of something huge! In just a few words you built this world, the emotions including the guilt, parents love and dedication, and a hell of an inciting incident! I mean the guilt Carasik is going to carry, I would have to become the best freakin' Knight on the planet! lol Please keep going!!
Yassssssss I've been building this story since forever, and I'm so glad I'm finally starting on it! >:D I will definitely keep going!
Eeeeeeeek a new series! I can’t wait to see more of it!!
This was a good starting point to go off of, and I'd say, well within the boundaries of the prompt. and honestly a creative use too, I was a bit too stopped up by my intense love of the incredible hulk to make use of this one specifically. The drama of their situation was well executed, and the sequence presented supports it well. Thanks for writing!
Thank you so much!