Dichotomy of a Fallen Race Chapter 1 (Working Title)

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

This is the first drafted chapter of my first ever attempt at writing a YA/ light fantasy based novel. The story will follow the main character Haru as he discovers the truth of his lineage, and the hidden reality that is about to change his life. Please feel free to let me know what you think, ideas for improvement or just excitement to read another chapter! Thank you for reading!

It’s dark, quiet, I’m just floating here but I can’t shake the feeling that I should be doing something important right now. No matter which way I look its just an endless emptiness in any direction. Suddenly, I’m no longer floating. I’m plummeting even deeper into the emptiness; I flail uselessly in attempt to slow down but it does nothing. Through the darkness I can make out something getting closer, its faint, almost colorless but it just keeps getting closer. I realize quickly, sickeningly, that it’s a floor of some sorts and there’s no way I can stop my fall. I’m about to hit face first in this free fall onto a surface that will most certainly kill me. Moments before I hit the ground, my world slows down, in a moment of clarity through the panic, I feel this calm, eerie familiar feeling. That somehow, this has already happened, or I’ve been here before. This floor, its pattern is terribly ominous yet strangely comforting. As black as slate, I can feel a chill emanating from it. Woven into and swirling through the floor are faint veins of various pulsing colors. A vibrant green that feels so toxic it seems to erode the floor as it flows by, a red so dark it resembles blood pulsing through veins, quickening and slowing to match my own frantic pulse. Through the clouded darkness a pale blue vein struggles to make its presence known, faint and almost imperceptible it fights an ever-losing battle between the red and green.

All these thoughts race through my mind at dizzying speeds, then BAM! I shoot upright in my bed, sweat pouring down my face, my back is drenched, and I can feel beads of sweat continuously roll down my neck. My heart is beating so hard and fast it’s the only thing I can hear, I instinctively clench my chest, only then do I realize how hard I’m breathing. No matter what I do I can’t seem to get any air into my lungs. “What’s going on, what’s happening to me, what was that dream,” I think to myself. As I look around, I start to come back to my senses. I’m in bed, I’m at home, my breathing gradually starts to return to normal. My heart quiets down for what feels like the first time in hours. I turn around to look at the clock, even though I know I’m going to regret the answer. Turning slowly, hoping somehow that would change the answer I inevitably know is coming, I look over. In bright red digital numbers 4:46 AM, “shit”, I say to myself audibly. Sighing heavily, I say out loud, to no one in particular. “Might as well get up and start this miserable day, not a chance I can fall back asleep after that.” I peel my sweat soaked self from the mattress, swing my legs slowly over the side of the bed and stagger myself into a standing position.

My left leg buckles under me unexpectedly and I fall slightly. Catching myself on the wall, I solidify my balance before I try walking again. After a few seconds to catch my bearings, I tiredly stumble my way into the bathroom. Flip on the lights and immediately regret my decision, “ouuuuuch” I grumble to myself. The light is so bright its painfully blinding, note to self, buy less bright bulbs. As I stumble toward the sink, I strip off my sweat drenched pants and toss them into the basket. Once I reach the sink and flip on the water, I press my hands together and cup a good amount of cool water and splash myself a few times in the face. Slowly I raise my face up to the mirror and stare at my face. My eyes are bloodshot, no surprise there, the red makes my green eyes even more vibrant. For an instant they resemble the green I saw in that floor and in that instant the wall behind me begins to swirl, the same sickening colors from the nightmare. I panic and dart my head around to find a wall that’s completely ordinary. It’s the same pale, off-white color it’s always been. I stare at the wall for several long moments before realizing that my heart is racing again, not as frantic as before but enough for my palms to instinctively clench and my breathing to quicken slightly. “Its just a wall, the same wall it’s always been.” I say to myself trying to calm myself down, my eyes dart around and spot the dent that’s been there for the last year. The dent my head left after I slipped getting out of the shower like an idiot. That simple thought makes me giggle, my breath slows, and I can focus again. Dreadfully, I slowly turn back to the mirror, thankfully everything seems back to normal.

“Am I just seeing things? Maybe I’m not as awake as I thought.”

I walk over to the shower and turn it on as hot as I can possibly make it. Kind of dumb to use hot water to rinse of sweat but I don’t care at this point. My muscles are still tense, plus I fucking hate cold showers. Yeah, yeah, I know they’re good for you and shit, but I don’t like em, never have never will. As the water starts to heat up, steam starts to flow up from the floor, I stick my hand out to feel the water. It’s nice, the sensation is calming, and I want to hop in. Moving too quickly, still not fully awake, I stub my foot on the shower edge getting in. “Ouch dammit” I exclaim as I’m falling forward. THWACK! I fall hard into the wall; the left side of my forehead collides will the tiled shower wall and shatters two of the tile pieces. I fall awkwardly into the shower, trying to clutch my foot and forehead at the same time.

“Son of a bitch!” I shout as the familiar buzzing and stinging of pain start to sink in from the impact. Laying there on the shower floor, covered in sweat and now tile shards and dust, I have one simple thought. “I’m never getting my security deposit back at this rate.” I let out a long deep sigh.

The shower continues to pour down on me as I lay there, the hot water feels nice. I close my eyes for a few moments to collect my thoughts. After a minute or two I stand up, collect the larger pieces of tile that shouldn’t go down the drain and toss them in the trashcan I have next to the shower. Under the streaming hot water, I finally start to wash myself, ridding myself of the sweat that clings to every inch of my skin, along with the newly acquired tile dust.

I spend way longer than necessary in there, but eventually I climb out of the shower, clean and partially refreshed. I reach for the towel and dry myself off as I head back to my room. Check my phone, on the off chance there’s a new message, there won’t be, and I know that, but I check anyway. Zero new messages, just as I had assumed, I flip to the home screen to check the time, 5:42 AM glows back at my thoughtless face. Toss the phone onto the bed and finish drying off so I can get dressed.

A few minutes later, after I had washed my teeth and brushed my hair. Wait… that’s not how that goes, washed my hair and brushed my teeth? Brushed both my hair and teeth? Bahhhh, whatever, I finished getting dressed and headed downstairs to make myself some breakfast and get a head start on my packed lunch. I never put too much effort into breakfast, I usually eat something simple while I cook my lunch.  This morning I munch on some jellied toast and sip on a freshly brewed cup of coffee, black. I can’t stand black coffee, the bitterness makes me want to gag, but we’re out of sugar so I grit my teeth and drink the hot bitter coffee. After every disgusting swig of it I want to just throw the mug, but I don’t cause I’m done breaking things this morning, I hope at least.

I throw some rice in the rice cooker and start sautéing up some beef and veggies in a pan. The fumes of sautéing meat make me drool a bit, my stomach rumbles in protest. The familiar feeling of cooking settles my nerves a bit, after I finish my toast I scramble some eggs, throw in some tomatoes, a little chive and top it off with some cheese. Breakfast is ready and so is the beef. The rice cooker dings in the background, “perfect timing.” While I make my lunch, I realize there’s a bit extra.

“No worries, I’ll make an extra for Aiko, she’ll never turn down free food, especially if there’s meat.” I pause momentarily and giggle to myself at the immature thoughts of “meat” that play through my head. Old habits die hard I guess, but it’s still funny, I challenge anyone who says otherwise.

Finished up packing lunches, I grab my plate and flip on the morning news as I sit down to eat breakfast. Since its always on this early it’s nice to have background noise to cut through the silence of an otherwise empty apartment. The tv clicks to life and immediately the morning news anchor starts blabbering away about some shit that happened yesterday, only half listening to the tv while I shovel eggs and cheese into my face, I half hear them say something about “unexplained blah blah phenomena blah blah.” I peak my head up to see what they were taking about but the news anchor was gone, replacing her was the weather guy, wearing his usually navy coat and white pants. Yes, I did say white pants, I don’t know why but for as long as I can remember the guy does the morning weather cast in the white pants. It’s become such a familiarity that I don’t even think about it anymore, I listen a little closer as he goes over the weather for today.

“It’s going to be a gloomy day today folks, be prepared for scattered showers, and the occasional thunderstorm. Today’s high will be 74 and a low of 61 so dress a little warmly today, and don’t forget that umbrella! Back to you guys in the desk.”

After the weatherman departs, my head slumps and I let out another sigh. “Greaaaaaaattttttt…. Rain… just what I wanted to deal with today…. At least hold off till I make it to school.”

Picking up my empty plate and mostly empty mug of disgust, I head back into the kitchen to clean the dishes. Right about that time I hear my front door swing open.

SLAM!

“HAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! TIME TO WAKE UP!”

“Aiko! I’m already up, you’ll wake the dead if you’re any louder.”

“OH, you’re up already, that’s an unusually sight, normally I have to drag your dead to the world ass self out of bed.”

I roll my eyes, “Aiko there’s still some eggs left over if you’re hungry, oh and I made extra, so I packed a lunch for you too. There’s beef in it.”

Aiko’s eyes shimmer and the slightest hint of drool starts to hang out the side of her mouth at the mention of meat. “She’s so easy to please,” I think to myself.

“And yes, it’s rare just like you like it, although I don’t understand how you can eat it that way, it can barely be called cooked.”

“That’s the best! The yummy flavor of the juices dripping down your cheeks as you bite into it, mmmm sooo good.”

“Werirdo” I mumble to myself just barely audible, or so I thought. As I turn around Aiko is standing right behind me, albeit a full head shorter. Her silver hair is still shiny and a little damp from her shower, a faint flowery scent of her shampoo wafts up, its pleasant and comforting, it smells like Aiko. I look down as I’m having these thoughts and realize, she’s got that evil grin again. She softly giggles and I realize all too late what’s coming but I can’t stop it.

WHAM!

Aiko launches a full-strength right hook right my gut. All the air leaves my lungs at once and I collapse to the floor gasping for air. Aiko leans down to my writhing self and says, with that same evil smile as if nothing happened “What was that? I thought I heard you say weirdo.”

I’ve already been punched once so at this point might as well double down. Through gasping breathes I stutter “Damn…you…and your bat like hearing...ugggg.”

Thankfully Aiko pretends not to hear this part and lets me go without another hit. She takes her plate of eggs and sits down at the table to eat. Once I’m finally upright again, she turns to me “Sooo why are you up so early, you never mentioned why.”

“I had a nightmare.”

“A nightmare? What kind?”

Sarcastically I say, “You know, like a dream where are these cool and awesome things happen that make you never want to wake up.”

Aiko is thoroughly not amused, she stares at me, glaring eyes of exasperation and judgment. “Jackass, you know I mean what happened.”

“I don’t really know how to explain it, I was floating in some kind of, cold, empty space. Then I fell from who knows how high up and struck a floor at the bottom. But right before I hit the floor, I had this weird sensation and then I woke up.”

Aiko just kind of tilts her head as I speak, she looks almost as if she wants to say something, her face gets still and completely serious for a moment. She opens her mouth to begin her response, then suddenly, pretends to fall asleep! Fake snoring and all! Aiko sits there, her head jilted to one side snoring away. My whole body slumps. “And here I thought you cared for a moment, my bad.” I turn around to finish the dishes, but Aiko starts giggling again. She wipes away fake tears of humor.

“Sorry… sorry but your face was so serious it was the perfect opportunity.” She wipes away another fake tear and recollects herself. “In all seriousness Haru, where did that dream come from? Did you watch a scary movie before you went to bed last night?”

“I’m not a kid! Scary movies before bed don’t give me nightmares. *Sighs* Anyways, if I knew where it came from, I wouldn’t have shot out of bed at 5 am.”

“You’ve been up since 5? Why didn’t you text me?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, I’m not going to text you at 5 in the morning. Plus, I knew you’d be over in a few hours anyway, so I’d just tell you when you get here.”

“Fair point I guess.” Aiko silently thinks to herself for a moment before she speaks up again. “Did you do your science homework last night? I was hoping I could copy yours before class.”

Angered slightly at the abrupt change of topic, however I realize it had to be done at some point. There really wasn’t much more about it to talk about it. I think she knew that as well; Aiko has always been better than I at reading social situations. Its one of the qualities I admire about her, reluctantly I head upstairs to grab my backpack to fetch the homework she wants to copy.

 

Aiko sits at the table while Haru goes upstairs. “What was that dream he had about? An empty void, falling to his death. It just doesn’t make any sense. He doesn’t know anything right now; he should be too young to become aware of what’s happening. His father said to watch over him while he’s gone but I doubt even he foresaw this happening so soon. Hopefully this is just some random coincidence, and we can write it off as a fluke nightmare.”

“Aiko…. Aiko…. Aiko!”

Aiko snaps out of her deep thoughts to find Haru standing over her with his notebook out.

“You completely spaced out there, everything all right?”

“Uhh, um, yeah everything is fine, just got lost in thought for a moment, that’s all.”

“Well, if, you’re sure you’re alright, here, this is yesterday’s homework. I have no idea how much of it is correct so use at your own risk.”

Aiko smiles, almost forcibly so, if you didn’t know her as well as I do you would’ve believed it to be a genuine smile. But I know even if I push, I won’t get a different answer, so ill leave it for now.

“Thanks” she says as she quickly copies down notes that took me hours to finish. She makes everything look so damn easy, its infuriating sometimes. Once she’s done, I put everything back in my bag, grab our lunches and head for the door. Time to get this miserable day over with, but first, school. “Oh boy, I can’t wait,” I say to myself with as much sarcasm as I can muster and lock the front door behind us.


Submitted: September 27, 2021

© Copyright 2021 zprime94. All rights reserved.

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