Constellations

Reads: 65  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
The title "Constellations" is the name for a cluster of stars, of which the story is set. The title is also a anaphoric reference as the reader does not find out what it means until after the first chapter. This introductory chapter of my novel easily conveys the inspiration from fantasy fiction novels such as "Harry Potter" and "The Windsinger". The idea to make the novel from Acton’s perspective as a whole, is not only to make the reader gain clearer thoughts of the main protagonist but also in order to engage the reader so, as the character embarks on a journey, the reader is also taken on this same journey. This is the first chapter from my progressing novel, I hope you enjoy. Constructive criticism is welcome!

Submitted: May 20, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 20, 2017

A A A

A A A


Acton stood on the platform, playing with her hair and swaying slightly to the calm, classical music floating in the background. Thrown out of her trance by the speakers blaring out a feisty rock song - she saw the capsule approaching.

She watched the capsule glide into its station and her eyes were greeted with a vision of smooth, chrome metal. Blacked - out, 3D windows (resembling flies‘ eyes), had the same texture which melted into the smoothness of the flawless metal. The windows were a slightly darker grey. The only piece of colour on the mesmerizing structure was a mustard yellow strip, running along the side like a piece of ribbon, flying and rippling into the empty darkness of a midnight sky.

The electric music came to an abrupt stop as the sleek doors slid open on perfect cue. Hordes of people were revealed in the wide space, all at once they stepped out, heading for the exit. No one ran, no one spoke, no one looked around. In seconds they had disappeared: Acton’s prompt to assemble the capsule. As soon as her shoe touched the polished, chrome floor, another crowd of people appeared, still silent, still lifeless. They made a sleek arrival, gliding into the vast room, taking Acton along with them, where she ended up in the centre of them, standing out like the brightest star in a night sky does. Her bright ensemble of clothes contrasted against their jet - black and slate - grey suits. They stood smart and pristine, not a short, perfect hair out of place. They were all males.

Everyone stood as straight metal poles as the capsule took off smoothly along the path of conformity, a stream of consciousness. Acton contemplated Minty as she stood in the middle of the capsule enclosed by the Suits, it was going to be worth it. No one was holding onto anything, they just simply stood there, like lampposts, who only turn on at night and come alive. In the day they are just there, of no use, lifeless. Deep down, Acton felt like she needed to steady herself, yet she had no intention of doing it. As the machine glided on she felt light and peaceful, there wasn’t the slightest indication of them moving. Her feet were stuck to the floor. She closed her eyes unknowingly to the silence that filled the space, feeling light, peaceful, safe. It was the perfect time for her to catch her breath and reflect on the recent events, the events that were forcing her to take this very journey in the first place.

Acton’s thoughts didn’t last for long, they were cut short by the blaring speakers sending out the next rock symphony, signalling their arrival. The suits sprung to life, enclosing her even more this time, muffling her oxygen intake and causing her to feel claustrophobic. The rough material scratched her cheeks, the silk ties tickled her chin, their heavy but smooth hands wrapped around her. Something was pushing down on her head, she couldn’t breath. The sounds were no longer inside her head, they were on the outside far, far away, until they come shooting back in, shocking her body into reality. Gushes of fresh, cold air swept around her, found her mouth and filled her lungs. She felt alive again. Her eyes were open, the suits were gone and the emptiness of the capsule was almost as overwhelming as the claustrophobic group of bodies.

Slipping her pale - pink woollen hat over her chestnut waves, Acton stepped out of the machine. Her foot was greeted with a slippery surface. It was the sharpest cut, shiniest marble she had ever seen. The marble took over the surface surrounding her for miles. Its immaculate finish was reflecting a spectacular show of dancing lights, the beams bouncing off the surface, hurting Acton’s eyes. She wondered where the light source was coming from. Slowly, her delicate head titled back, to reveal a regal view. The vast dome was filled with crystal lights and gold figures. Paintings ran around the gold structure erected in the centre of the dome. The art was midnight blue, the crystal lights were scattered all over it, so perfectly constructed, yet it was the most natural sight Acton had ever witnessed in her life. The gold figurine in the heart of the dome stood proud and untouched. It was a gleaming sculpture of a man in a suit. His facial expression was serious yet proud and if Acton concentrated hard enough, she could see a slight nick at the corner of the mouth, like if he was to be unfrozen out of the gold stance, a wicked, wide - spread smile would take over his chizzled face.

Hurrying quickly along the marble surface, her footsteps echoed in the vast, empty room. Acton felt alone, but not scared. Gradually the space was compacting and after a few seconds Acton was standing in a skinny corridor. The walls were of solid oak, the smell of fresh wood filled Acton’s nostrils as she took deep breaths. She touched the patterned brass door handle, it was stone cold. Acton twisted it, there was a click and as the door opened she felt a familiar scratching material on her skin, and the sweet yet sickly smell that smothered her airways. It was also dark, but different shades of darkness. Waves of jet-black and slate-grey, seesawing side to side. Then it occurred to her, she was amidst the Suits again. The vast but cramped room was packed with them. Acton stared up at them intently, each one was staring ahead into the distance as if they were mesmerized by a sight they could not let go of, a sight that was so special to them if they were to let go of it now they would lose it all.

Craning her neck to see what it was, Acton was becoming increasingly annoyed with the Suits. They looked intimidating, even sinister, though Acton sensed they were but harmless workers. Their barely there presence was not threatening. They were scarcely alive to Acton, not human, which gave her the strength to tolerate them and concentrate on what she was doing in their presence in the first place. Catching a glimpse at the grand Victorian clock watching down on the workers and Acton, she decided to take control, sensing she did not have much time left. Each second that ticked away from her was a possible piece of achievement lost. Acton ducked under shirted arms and crawled through tailored legs. Minty would not have been impressed by this behaviour but as this was all for her, Acton could not care less. Reaching the front, Acton hauled herself off the marble floor and looked around. The room was smaller than the arrivals hall, but it was just as grand. The same varnished wood from the hallway coated the walls, with carvings of different shapes and symbols. The large, prominent crest was the most familiar symbol to Acton. She appreciated the fine work: of which most had probably been made by her father, the famous craftsman. This thought boiled inside Acton, she felt her cheeks burn with disgust and hatred. She pulled her hat off, tucked it under her belt and pulled her glistening waves into a ponytail, which fell down her back like a shower of autumn leaves. Now the hair was out of her face, it revealed almond eyes, in the mixture of their green and brown there was a glint shining through. A glint of determination.

Her nervous energy pushed her forward. It was more of a physical feeling than a mental rumination, she felt a touch of pressure on the small of her back which made her lurch forward to touch the handle. Acton looked behind, the Suits were as still as ever, looking past her, through her. She was not there to them, and they were barely there to her. The door slid to the left, revealing a small lift. Acton fiddled with the latch of the curly, gold iron gate. With shaking fingers she managed to get it open, the rusty whine of the gate made her jump as she stepped into the lift. Closing the gate, then the wooden double doors, she secured the latch. She looked around the small space. There were the all too familiar wooden walls again. They were so polished Acton could see her own reflection in them. She could not help feeling relived; this must have been one of the only lifts that did not have mirrors. With that thought, Acton looked up. The ceiling consisted of one large mirror. ‘Great’, Acton thought, ‘I am being watched.’

The lift buttons ran along a column to the left. They were pearls, or opals? Acton couldn’t decide. Maybe they were a bit of both, a new and rare kind. Their twinkling, fresh faces smiled back at her. Acton looked at each and everyone individually. They captured her imagination, taking it on a journey that transcended anything she had imagined before. They led her up, down, then up again, eventually laying her eyes down gently on the queen bee. At the top of the tower of jewels was a sharp-cut yellow diamond, the size of a golf ball. It was prominent on the column compared to its children below. She was the Sun. Catching every glint of light she could, selfishly keeping every ray so to explode with a feast of yellow, orange and red. Like a dangerous ball of fire. Acton was not afraid to touch it. It was now the only thing standing between her and resolution. Touching the crystal with three delicate fingers, she applied a generous pressure. The button was warm, not hot. It was smooth, not slippery. It was beautiful, not stunning. The sounds of cogs dancing told Acton she was travelling up, to her destination, to her moment. The bell rung once, but its ring echoed in Acton’s innocent ears. It rung and rung and rung. Signalling that she had made it. She had made it to her chance, a chance that she was not going to give up now. She unlatched the doors and threw open the iron gate.

Images of Minty, her father and the old man who lived next door clung on to her mind as she started forward. Filled with determination Acton felt light but powerful. The domed room she stood in was the top of the tower. It could have been drenched in delicious light, but the shutters hiding the stained glass windows crushed this dream. The large, arched gold door stood in front of Acton like a sturdy, intimidating body guard. He was just behind this impersonator. Acton rapped the door thrice with a clenched fist. She rubbed her now red knuckles as she waited, as she stopped breathing. Breath sunk back into her as the door swung open. It was him. His presence was true. Real. She took a step forward, to reach out for his aid and collapsed into him. The feeling of his silk suit on her skin extracted her from reality. Enclosed in his arms she was wrapped up in his purity. The sigh of relief filled the infinity of chance, the chance she now had safely tucked under her belt.


© Copyright 2017 LC. All rights reserved.