The Fire Within - Heidi Cooper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Taking constructive criticism into account, this chapter has been edited and a few things have changed.

Prolog (v.1) - Prologue

Submitted: August 16, 2013

Reads: 1830

Comments: 14

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 16, 2013

A A A

A A A

 

Prologue

 

It had happened before, this dream.

 

The breeze was cool on my face as I stepped out into the crisp night air. I ambled through the display of lime and emerald green trees, drawn to the house as I had been many times before. I don’t know what led me there every night but I kept walking anyway, letting my feet guide me along the cobble stone path. A few stars dotted the evening sky like diamonds scattered over a black cocktail dress. I inhaled the fresh air and looked out upon the landscape before me, taking in everything different and yet, so familiar.

 

There was no movement on this particular night other than the steady shuffling of my feet.  Everything took on an eerie calm almost as if it were a ghost town. It didn’t bother me though, because for as long as I could remember I actually preferred the quiet. Often I would find myself in a secluded place with nothing but a book in my hand, a slight breeze bringing a cool and welcome touch to my skin and perhaps the sound of the waves gently lapping against the sand.

 

Taking a left at the end of the footpath, I simply allowed my feet to carry me forward. Something was drawing me, reaching out towards me in my dreams with gentle, persuading hands and beckoning me to return. I crossed the road and headed through the alleyway adjacent to the house with the brown thatched roof and protruding attic windows. Somewhere off in the distance, a dog barked. My pace quickened, as I was eager to get to my destination, even though I had no idea why my dreams kept taking me to it. All I knew was that I had the overwhelming desire to be there, a common occurrence for me every time I surrendered to a slumber.

 

As I rounded the corner the house rose up in front of me like an audience giving a standing ovation. The street lights were dim and barely cast a glow on the asphalt and sidewalk below adding to the eeriness of the evening. The stairs leading up to the double stained glass doors called me forth, practically begging me to ascend them. I accepted and gingerly rose up the steps. The doors opened unexpectedly and intuitively I entered.

 

I crossed the threshold and proceeded to walk down the hallway to the main living space. My dreams were odd enough already but it was even more unusual to me that no one seemed to reside there. There was furniture though. Modern, lived-in looking furniture.

A huge mantled fireplace stood on the wall opposite the arched entrance to the lounge room. Within the fireplace were a pile of ashes, suggesting that it had been lit at some point. Dark drapes made out of thick, heavy woven fabric hung loosely in front of the gorgeous bay windows. In large part it was always the same, except things seemed to move or change slightly between visits.

 

Usually in my dreams nothing much would happen. I would simply visit the house, stay awhile and then wake up. The house held some sort of magnetic appeal for me. To me, it felt like a home away from home and the compulsion to return there was so strong that I looked forward to going to sleep every night. No one knew about this apart from my friends and they all thought I was bat shit crazy. Even my best friend Helena thought I was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I guess she just couldn’t fathom how important this “dream house” was to me, and to be honest, I didn’t understand why it was so important either.

 

I felt comfortable there; absolutely and irrevocably comfortable. When I entered the house all of my worries and cares just drifted away. It was like nothing was important enough to worry about. The only time I ever felt that way was when my Grandmother was still alive. She made me feel comfortable, safe and dissolved my troubles with a simple hug. Of course I knew that sounded completely ridiculous, but I can only describe how it felt. Being within those walls gave me the same feeling my Grandmother hugging me did; how she held me so tight that I practically got swallowed up by her. In a good way. Sometimes it felt more like home than my actual home did.

 

The lounge room was particularly enchanting that night, even more so than the house itself. It had always been my favourite room since I had started having those dreams. I walked over to one of the bay windows and peered out. It was still so eerily quiet outside, even the dog had not barked again since I was in the alleyway. I smiled as I took it all in; the quiet, the ambience of the house and the feeling it always gave me whilst I was standing within its walls. The house possessed some sort of magical properties and it wouldn’t matter how stressful my day was; as soon as I entered the house I felt a calm wash over me. My problems just washed away like a cleansing tide.

 

As I walked back towards the double glass doors, I decided to turn left and head up the flight of stairs leading towards the bedrooms and the bathroom. The bathroom was not unlike any other, tiled and cool. This one though spanned quite a large area, complete with spa bath along with all the usual amenities every bathroom has. It also had lights that at first glance looked incredibly like candles. Even the “flames” appeared to dance and sing to some kind of music that only they seemed to hear. There was a full length mirror, from floor to ceiling covering the right side wall and thick bath sheets hung folded in half over solid stainless steel fixtures. I casually glanced toward the light switch and flicked it off and back on. The candles ignited all at once as if by magic.

The house called me back down stairs with its silent tongue. I felt the wooden stairs shift a little under my weight as I made my descent; the sound of them creaking echoed through the house as I was drawn back towards the lounge room. As I entered the room I felt an overwhelming tingly, warm sensation course through my body, from head to toes and everything in between. I stretched and breathed in through my nose; the smell of jasmine and frangipani was pleasantly overwhelming. A memory of my Grandmother lighting scented candles throughout her house filled my thoughts. Sadly she passed away about a year ago. Each night she would light those candles and let them burn for a few hours while we sat and drank hot chocolate with marsh mellows and chatted away happily together.

 

Returning to the lounge room I immediately noticed something was different. As I walked closer to the fireplace the tingling sensations in my body reached a crescendo. I looked above the mantle of the fireplace and a strange blue glow captured my attention. The pull towards this glowing blue light was hypnotic; like moth to a flame. As I drew nearer it started to take the shape of some kind of symbol. I sucked in a breath and reached towards it tentatively with my fingertips. As they brushed over the surface of the symbol it sent an enormous surge of energy rippling through my body.

 

The fireplace came to life with an eruption of flames forcing me to leap backwards in surprise. When I gathered my wits and looked into the flames, they suddenly died down, leaving only glowing burnt orange embers. I walked carefully towards the fireplace, not taking my eyes off the embers. I bent down and looked at them intently. Something was telling me that the house was going to great lengths to show me something, but what?

 

I peered closely into the gradually dying embers and noticed a strange blue glow coming from within them, much like the one I had witnessed above the mantle. The blue glow pulsed once then fizzled out completely. In its wake was a chain with an amulet attached.

 

 I reached in to grab it…




© Copyright 2017 H D Cooper. All rights reserved.

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