Chapter 1: The Meeting

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 528

Prologue

When Lycoris flowers bloomed on the shores of the netherworld, repent in a way called death. 

Eternity shall be answered with demise, the dying population made a wish, a prayer unheard that took away the last breaths of existence, wilting, pathetic. The end of an era begins anew. The birth of a child, a God, the resonance of life. But God wasn't what they anticipated.

Without destruction, creation can't be born.  
 
The remnants of the past clung on, persistent like rodents. 

'We don't want to die.' 

'The world wouldn't survive with two elite species.' 

For some to rise, the rest shall drown. The child God murdered by the likes of his kind, and in his dying breath, he spent hating, wishing for the destruction for these overdue relics. As his body rots and flesh disintegrates into dust and ashes, arise a new element, Aether. Harvesting this energy his creations gained power, the next step of evolution was labelled, the spawns of the false God, Lucifer. Resulted was an eternal struggle between the children of the new creator and the old, until the faithful war fifteen years ago tipped the scales and the humans triumphed. Echoed throughout history was a new chapter engraved in blood a delicate, and falsified peace of pretence, distrust and fear. And some found love in this wretched hell, a girl was birthed, half human and half monstrosity. 

Chapter 1 

The wheels of fate gently rotate, brewing a hurricane of disaster. 

She was born fifteen years later with eyes silver as steel, skin white as snow and hair soft as silk in a time of façade tranquility. Lilia was her given name by loving parents. At the tender age of five, she could feel the melancholy in the winds and despair in the air, unsettling cries of vengeance and hatred of the living that passed. At first, she was frightful, timid eventually grew into customary, father told her it was the anarchy of his kind, the losers of war and when they die, they become Aether, a source of energy. 

"They're in pain...They said the humans are evil and greedy." She once argued, and father hushed her. 

"Do you think your mother is evil and greedy?" He replied, a voice so solemn and disheartened, "The walls have ears, Lilia, you should never say things like this." 

"Why do you have to hide when you're something so amazing?" The naivete in her challenged. 

"Because we lost, and now we atone." 

"That's bullshit! Winning doesn't determine what's right!" 

"You shouldn't swear, my little Lily pad!" A new voice entered the room, a comforting voice, her mother. The familiar silhouette lowered herself and placed an assuring hand over her frail, trembling shoulders. "Because of it, we can now live as family, and you can have a normal life, a life your father never had." 

Her tiny hands clutched tightly, knuckles paled and face flustered from the rising blood, but she didn't retaliate remembering the horrid stories father used to tell her, of wars and agony. That night she went to bed frustrated and when the lights go out, she sat up gazing at the full pearlescent moon, its milky luminescence lined beautiful lush forest emerald. She saw a little cliff-side where the trees meek, and heard the distant crashing waves hitting the rocky shores, it was such a beautiful, serene little town. And she should be contented, yet she wasn't. 

Opening the windows, cold, liberating breeze assaulted her in a frigid embrace, the sweet scent of earth and life caressed her gently as if a siren's allure. It was freedom that she craved for, and curiosity that drove her. She was sick of pretending something she wasn't. She wanted to explore the animalistic nature humming quietly inside, to know the extent of her capabilities, the powers of the 'devil' or so the humans called it. Lilia wanted to harvest Aether, and that was taboo. 

With one last push of resolve, she puts on a knitted cardigan and leaped out of the window. It wasn't a long fall to the ground, her room being on the second-floor, landed on fours on the soft flower bed. There was excitement, adrenaline coursing through her blood as she ran towards the cliff through the thick, dark forest. Twigs snapping beneath her as her feet dug into the soft muddy dirt, she loved the nights where winds howl the wildest and stars brightest. 

'Should we leave her be, I never predicted that she'll be awoken so early.' 

'She'll be fine. After all, she's your daughter.' 

The gentle iridescent beams seeped through the thick canvas drawing beautiful patches of glow upon forest floors, melodious songs of the native crickets accompanied the enchanting sway of fireflies was almost magical. There was a narrow winding path where greenery sparse leading to the opposite end, the ground felt cool on her feet. She approached the exit, bursting through sturdy vines and fauna was an onslaught of salted air, her hair flung into a frenzied dance behind her sparkled golden by the countless stars in the nebula. The skies were captivating maroon and navy melting seamlessly into black bedazzled by millions of tiny gems, waves beneath her sung rhythmic harmonies each step a welcome she took closer to the edge. She looked over, a steep drop only to be received by spikes, but she was calm, confident and free. Lilia closed her eyes and inhaled, what a pleasant scent away from civilization and sick deception.  
 
Aether was pure and still here, no longer the resentful whispers of the begrudging dead. She allowed her heart to be silent and placid overwhelm her, soft Aether bled into her skin akin a warm radiance filling the emptiness of her soul. What felt like a surge of power darted her eyes open, prior exhaustion sugared enthusiasm. It was amazing, an outstretched hand resisting the arctic blitz, the winds were calling out to her, and she could almost grasp it seemingly it had a shape or form, but disappeared transiently as it came. She was deep in concentration, fixated onto the horizon where the skies met the sea, azure delineated midnight waters glistered softly with each ripple reverberated her skidded breaths. Her arms hovered by her sides, embracing the gentle sea breeze nuzzling her body, piercing through the layered wool were ice cold shards that caused goosebumps. 

"What are you doing out here?" A childlike tone interrupted her, she became so preoccupied that she hadn't noticed company. 

Taken by surprise in the moment of panic she lost footing, a misstep and she was falling, the cliff distancing from her. Her heart dropped, rampaging in her ribs hammering against her chest far louder than any sirens, it was bitter, desperate fear. Her limbs flung wildly, searching frantically for anything to grab on as the ground beneath seemed to inch closer. A hand caught her in a grip eager and firm, fingers not much larger than hers interlaced forcefully. Stark blue met sterling silver, was a boy so tormented and guilt stricken leaning over the edge to support her dangling weight. He had bandages in his arms, prior injuries bloodied over sheer white dying scarlet dark, determined, he heaved her up. 

"Thank you." She said after regaining balance, convincing that she was safe. 

His hands were on his knees, panting from the turmoil over slouched shoulders rising and falling from the quickened breaths. Red was running down his right arm, puddling on bruised wrists over the now soaked stitches. 

"Are you alright?" She questioned in quivering skepticism. He looked far more messed up than she ever was. Sweat matted over sun kissed tan and unruly caramel strands stuck unkemptly over exhausted features, he straightened and took a huge gulp of much needed oxygen. 

"Yeah, I'm sorry for startling you!" He was apologetic, such intense eyes, deep like the ocean lazuli burned into hers. 

A young boy, neither older nor taller than her a boy from her kindergarten perhaps, none of whom she casted a second glance. 

"You're that weird girl from my class, aren't you? The one that's always sitting in the corner." She was right, he confirmed it. 

"That's not a very nice thing to say." 

"I can say whatever I want, I just saved your life!" 

"My life wouldn't be in danger if it weren't for you!" 

They bickered and he eventually gave up, they stood a few inches apart merely enough to feel the body heat radiating from each other. And when the night slept away in quietude, their unsynchronized breathings became audible, the growing awkwardness was mocked by derisive cricket chirps, just before it became unbearable, she spoke. 

"What happened to your arm?" Slightly gesturing to the scabbing mess, the protective cloth came undone revealing horrendous heaps of flesh marred grotesque scars and fresh wounds from biceps to forearm. 

"It's just an accident." He dismissed. 

She wondered what sort of ordeal could have caused such a grave injury on a five-year-old, but he didn't allow her the time to ponder. 

"What are you doing here in the middle of the night?" He diverted the topic skillfully and she accepted that. 

"I don't know, I just wanted to be here." She answered earnestly, sincerely. 

"Aren't kids afraid of the dark forest, didn't you hear the stories? There are man-eating monsters in there!" 

She almost chuckled, "You're a kid too." Of course, she heard them, fanciful stories adults spun to frighten kids away, simply fairy tales and make believes compared to the true terrors of unspoken wars. "What are you doing here then? Aren't you afraid of the man-eating monsters?" She decided to humor him. 

"There are things way scarier than man-eating monsters..." He commented, almost too softly accompanied by immediate despondency, his expression turned stoic, beyond any innocence and juvenility of a child. She found a strange camaraderie in him, acknowledging that they're both forced to grow up too soon. She pitied him but knew not to pry. 

"Does it hurt?" 

"No." He replied quietly. 

He averted her gaze, clenching a fist then releasing to assure that he still had control over the arm. "My name's Aki, what's yours?" 

"Lilia." She introduced herself. She allowed herself to relax, laid down on the velvety grass, the gentle blades pillowed her head teasingly tickled her cheeks with fluttering sways. "Don't you think the stars are beautiful?" She gestured the spot beside her, inviting him. He propped his body down, a small patch of foliage displaced by his weight. 

"Yeah it is." He replied with what sounded like enthusiasm, albeit forced. 

She reached for his hand and gave a comforting squeeze, she knew he was bothered but even by a little she wished to alleviate his anguish. His fingers felt fragile despite calloused from the dry scabs of his palm, she recognized those hands, similar to father's whose known guns, metal and weapons, the hands of someone that suffered, and her heart was wretched in sorrow and empathy. She cursed the unforgiving, cruel world that subjected a mere child her age to torture, she abhorred it. This unsightly, disgusting reality resonated even twenty years after, did the war truly change anything. 

"Hey, let's be friends, alright?" He suggested, perhaps feeling the enmity. 

Lilia looked over, perplexed by the sudden notion, but he appeared so full of hope, previous dismal forgotten, he smiled amicably, cheerfully the same he did everyday with goofy, nonchalant foolishness she witnessed in class that made her dismissive, only now she realized, he too, was hiding behind that thick mask of charade. She held his hand firmly, "You don't have to force yourself!" But he cuts her off, 

 not, it's pointless to grieve over yesterday you can only hope that today would be better. And, meeting you today was already better!" He proclaimed. 

"What a mature thing for a brat like you to say." 

"You're a brat too." He disputed, slightly annoyed. "So... smile, Lilia, and if you can't, I'll smile for you." He grinned ludicrously to prove a point.  

This time, she did laugh, for the few times in her life, she found happiness to truly feel like the child she was, no pretense, just unadulterated, sincere jubilance. 

Aki, her first, and most beloved friend. 

:.:.:.:.:.:.:.:.: 

When the cogs rust over, the clock stops ticking. 

The earliest memory he had was steel coated misery, before he walked, he learnt the sickening, gut-wrenching stench of iodine and surgical masks. The unforgiving rubber straps that immobilized him to cold, rigid silver, bright circular lamps shone directly into his iris and there was pain, hellish, unbearable pain. Screams of children reiterated like a mad priest's chants, begging for deliverance, corpses mangled and piled nearly indistinguishable from slaughtered cows. And the stench of rot, no amount of sterilizing liquids could hide, sweet blooded copper mixed charred decomposing death. His parents always praised him, 

'Aki's such a brave boy.' 

'You're amazing!' 

Caramel coated lies to get him to obey. Each notion decorated with sadism as they pulled his organs out and replaced with wired adamantium. He hated the lab, the utter abomination of mankind. He cried himself to sleep countless nights, while other children stuffed their mouths with sugary goodness, his instead were deceptive painkillers that numbed his entire body. He remembered the false prophecies adults promised, for the sake of humanity and perseveration of their race, they told him he was special, but he wasn't. Unlike the other experiments, he merely survived, and when he doesn't, his carcass would be obliterated by the inferno furnace, without evidence, without remembrance. Discarded like trash, merely satisfying the egoistic nature of humans subjected by his own biological family. 

They needed not a son, but a machine. 

He knew they were afraid of the imminent, inevitable wars, the ones that passed, and the ones to come. An expired race struggling to match nature with nurture, at the expense of their own offspring. Degenerated to mere tools, unfeeling, remorseless weapons of destruction. Yet he was forced to smile, to play pretend that everything was immaculate, his parents were loving, accomplished scientists and he was their lively, over-achieving son. It became effortless, to turn away and indulge in delusions, neglecting veracious atrocities that hollowed his daily life. 

Today, they handed him a gun, weighted embroidered gold coated delusive titanium. 

'Pull the trigger.' 

Mother commanded, directed at a trembling boy, eyes wide with tears, fragile stature shaken uncontrollably. He recognized the him, another test subject, he tried to escape, tried to seek help. Aki hesitated and swallowed loudly. 

'Pull the trigger.' 

Once again, with more intensity, more authority, the imperturbable demand of mother's voice resonated emotionlessly, she didn't see a helpless child, only the wasted effort of a failed experiment. They were no different from lab rats. 

Aki lifted his quivering arms, sweaty palms wrapped snugly around the sterling trigger, he heard the boy's protest, 

'No, please! Stop! I promise I'd be good!' 

And a final, deafening bang, he fell silent. Carmine splattered across distastefully white walls, grey matter soaked marble tiles, his body slumped, collapsed like a marionette twisted unnaturally on the floor, eyes wide open with lugubrious despair. Hah... he killed him... he killed someone. It was almost ludicrous how feeble they truly are, just one bullet to the head. 

He was shaking, agitated, he couldn't remove the image from his head, the haunting, desolating image far overwhelmed the screaming pain of his dislocated shoulder. The plaguing shrieks of the dead child tormented him, his voice reiterating like a broken music box. He killed him, he killed him, he killed him. 

'Clean it up.' 

Mother's voice was in the background, distant and overwritten. He fell to his knees, the strength to support himself left him, he saw the cleaners picked up the corpse as if discarding a butchered pig. No remorse, no grievance. Only contempt. 

'You did good, Aki.' 

How incredibly laughable. 

'As expected from my son.' 

How tragic. 

'Come, Aki, lets patch that shoulder up.' 

What was the point of living? 

That night he found himself running to the cliff under the relentless heavens and tarnished skies that shone so sickeningly bright. They were mocking him; the world was mocking him along with the crickets and the fireflies he was satiated, enough with this merciless reality, he wanted everything to be over. How utterly, revolting. As he approached closer, he could smell the thick odor of the sea, salt and sulfur, the ugly pollution of the waves shredding through otherwise deathly silence, distasteful. He wasn't alone. Through the dark fauna, he was greeted by a girl, her back was turned, silky white gown fluttered gently akin a prance, she had her arms stretched as if embracing the violent ocean winds. The soft moon accentuated brilliance in her hair, peaceful and transfixed. 

"What are you doing out here." 

He called out to her, and she spun around, startled, light caught her lashes sparkled silver in her pupils almost like an angel and she fell. His body reacted, plunging over to grab onto tiny hands, she was dangling and their eyes met, frightened, confused and beautiful. With whatever remaining resolve he had, he pulled her up. Earlier wounds ripped open, but there was no longer pain, just a stinging, numbing sensation that could be described as a slight annoyance. frivolous, compared to the ones he suffered through. 

He was heaving. 

"Are you alright?" 

Her voice was concerned, almost caring and genuine, a welcoming change. He apologized, and they talked. What a captivating distraction, a fearless, hopeful girl that was so full of sympathy. 

"Don't you think the stars are beautiful?" 

How ironic, the same atrocious heavens described so differently, he laid down beside her. 

"Yeah it is." 

He lied. She could tell, her hands caught his, soft, tender and warm. She was alive and naïve and comforting. Beside her, he could forget the horrific memories, they argued like children would. It was alleviating and refreshing, like the smell on her clothes, clean linen and shampoo. sweet, pleasant scent. She looked at him, elegant lashes fluttered shyly with each blink marked curious glances and her face, relaxed, enchantingly childish. She was different, amiable and true away from the monstrosity of his daily life, the mask he worn shattered revealing something so vulnerable, so naked. A helpless, five-year-old that had experienced too much in too little time, he wanted to cry, but he didn't. 

"Smile Lilia, and if you can't, I'll smile for you." 

Smile for me so I can live. 

And she did, a heartwarming laughter so earnestly. Perhaps for the first time of his life, he felt happiness. 

He fell in love, his most beloved, Lilia. 


Submitted: September 20, 2017

© Copyright 2021 azusayume. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

Other Content by azusayume

Book / Fantasy