emeria's choice

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Emeria's choice (first part of a series of four)
Short Story (3,000 words)
Fiction-Mystery
Main character: Emeria Sproutt
Author: Elmer Zuch
Log line: A young woman is determined to discover the secret of her island before her parents and her future are no
longer.
Life is peaceful in the small village of Sproutt Island. The inhabitants are busy repairing clocks and sowing the next crops.
It is the beginning of the long period of sunshine which represents the end of the sunsets. The island is controlled by John
Sproutt who maintains the archives and the knowledge giving him the title of Master. His apprentice is Jim Sproutt, married
to Elizabeth and father of Emeria. Emeria is a fantastic young woman with extreme curiosity. An event will lead her to
question the very existence of the island and its reality with the outside world. Her determination will push Emeria to
discover the secrets of the island and shake its foundations. It is a formidable adventure that begins for Emeria which will
decide her destiny.
Upcoming Short Story (second part of a series of four): Emeria's quest

Submitted: January 24, 2017

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Submitted: January 24, 2017

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Emeria’s choice Elmer Zuch
CHAPTER 1
Slowly, Emeria opens her eyes. She could smell the eggs and the bread. She is
so hungry that she could eat a whole seal.
"Emeria, the food is ready", her mother said.
"I'm coming"
Emeria is a beautiful young woman with long dark brown hair and amazing hazel eyes.
Her face is round with thick eyebrows and luscious lips.
"I have work to do at the newspaper"
"Perfect, we are very busy at the workshop", her father replied .
"All these clocks that break constantly ... it's strange"
"Yes ... it keeps people busy"
Emeria finishes her food and leaves.
It is the beginning of the long period of sunshine on Sproutt Island. All the
inhabitants of the island will be very busy with the crops and to make provisions before
the great cold. Emeria likes to walk, but the island is tiny, she has to go around several
times. On her way, she meets Jennie who is in charge of the newspaper.
"See you later?", Jennie asked.
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"Of course"
"Master John, after calculation, decided that we are in 1941 ... he called it a centennial
..."
"Where would we be without Master John?", Emeria exclaimed.
"Indeed !"
Master John is the sage of the island. He keeps the archives, the knowledge and
answers the questions of the inhabitants. He is the sweetest person. The father of
Emeria is his apprentice.
She is now arrived to the workshop. It is by far the largest shelter in the village.
The father of Emeria is in charge, the workshop employs several people and is always
very busy. The inhabitants of the island bring their clocks and the employees repair the
mechanism, the system is made of iron. The tiny iron mine is now exhausted and also
used to make the knives used for cooking and agriculture. Emeria tries to catch a
glimpse of her father, but does not see him. His father, Jim, is thin with a square face,
blue eyes and gray hair. Instead, she sees her best friend, Edward.
"Edward, I did not know you were working in the workshop?", Emeria said.
"It's all new"
"You're going to be very busy, that's for sure !"
"Emeria ... I'd like to talk to you ..."
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"Okay"
Emeria and Edward walk away from the workshop.
"I went to L Stones", Edward informed.
"Oh, you knew it was forbidden?"
"Yes ... and something special happened ..."
"Did you see ghosts?"
"No Emeria ... no ghosts ..."
"It’s full of small rocks on the surface and when I approached, my knife in my pocket
was moving ..."
"I took out my knife and it moved and landed on the small rocks"
"Strange ... like the clocks that stop working ... it accumulates ... did you question
Master John?"
"No, I've only talked to you ... people disappear when they ask too many questions ..."
"True ... I'm going to talk to my father, I trust him, and I will not tell him it's you"
"Okay ... I have to go back to the workshop before people become suspicious"
"Interesting ... clocks and knives are both made of iron", Emeria questioned.
"Coincidence ...", Edward said .
"We are due to fish"
"Yes, it's true", Emeria smiled.
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Emeria is now heading to the newspaper shelter. To her surprise, Master John is
present, as well as Jennie. Master John is squat, corpulent with a big face, bald and
piercing green eyes.
"Well, nice surprise", Master John said.
"Thank you"
"Master John kindly provided the text for the centennial newspaper"
"Very nice"
"There will be a great meal to celebrate", Jennie continued.
"Wonderful"
"Food, my only vice", Master John said with a crazy laugh.
"So I'll let you finish the paper"
"And do not forget, if you have questions, my door is always open"
"I have plenty", Emeria whispered.
Master John looks at Emeria surprised before leaving.
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CHAPTER 2
Emeria wakes up. she has not slept well, it is always an adjustment with the long
period of sunshine that begins. Her body must get used to it again. But, this is not the
time to complain, there are many questions that unfold in her head. She must confront
her father with the L Stones and must get answers. She gets up and sees her father
sitting at the table, thinking.
"Father, what are the L Stones?"
"Why do you ask Emeria? You know it's a forbidden, dangerous place with ghosts"
"Why not ? I have the right to know"
"I'm so tired of all that Emeria ... all these secrets"
"L Stones is for Lodestones, they are natural magnets"
"Magnets?"
"Yes, it creates a magnetic field that attracts certain metals"
"Like iron?"
"Yes ... like iron"
"This is what affects the clocks, isn’t it? And attracts the knives?"
"Yes"
"So why keep the secret?”
"To keep people busy"
"Is this year 1941?"
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"No, it's much more than that … Master John and I have no idea ..."
"When the Sproutt family arrived and their boat crashed against the cliff, the parents
died on the spot. Leaving orphans the two children, brother and sister. We know that the
year was 1841, based on the archives. But for several years, the children did not keep a
diary. The long period of sunshine also makes the calculation harder"
"By keeping the inhabitants busy, fewer questions are asked. We continue to repair the
clocks to maintain the illusion that we are controlling time"
"We have no idea of our ages. Why say the truth to the inhabitants of the island, it will
create a panic"
"People are happy and we need them to maintain the system"
"Why not build a boat and leave the island?", Emeria asked.
"To go where? We do not know where we are ... Go back to England?"
"Too much unknown"
"When Master John dies, I will become the new Master of the island and I would like
you to become my apprentice"
"I do not want to become an apprentice, I want to live in reality. I do not think you and
Master John should decide the future of every inhabitant of the island"
"Father, it does not resemble you ... there is something else ... another secret ..."
"Pay attention to Master John", Jim warned.
"I'll do what should have been for a long time ... destroy the magnetic field of the
Lodestones"
"Start looking for a new job"
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CHAPTER 3
It is a determined Emeria that leaves the family shelter. Before she left, she
picked up her knife and some seal skins. The skins will be useful to carry the
Lodestones. She thinks of the conversation with her father and something is missing.
Why is it necessary to keep the inhabitants of the island occupied. Keep people busy so
they do not have time to build a boat. Or keep them busy so they do not have time to
visit the island deep and find a secret ... but what ... Both reasons are good.
Emeria arrives at the workshop and sees Edward.
"Edward, I need your help, no questions, I'll explain to you on our way, bring as many
seal skins as you can."
"Is your knife still in the Lodestones?"
"Yes, my knife is still there"
"Okay, I'm gonna go pick up the seal skins"
The two friends are on their way. Emeria explains in detail her conversation with her
father.
"Incredible", Edward shouted.
It is necessary to act fast because the rumors travel quickly on the small island. They
arrive in the center of the village, near the pond. With all the rain that the island received
recently, the level of the water is at the highest. The garden and the farm are on the
banks of the pond. The inhabitants are very busy, but take the time to greet Emeria and
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Edward. Corn, potato and wheat seeds have begun to be planted. The harvest will be
done just before the beginning of the great cold. On the farm side, chickens and goats
graze the ground. Seeds and animals were part of the Sproutt’s boat. All of them,
descendants like us. Before leaving the village, Emeria and Edward cross the forest.
There are not many trees left, they have been used to build shelters and clocks. They
arrive at the Lodestones field. Edward's knife is still there. They start removing the small
rocks and stack them on seal skins. There are small rocks everywhere, it's going to take
more than just a trip.
They have finished the work.
"We will throw them from the top of the cliff", Emeria said.
The village is in a deep valley, in the middle of the island. They start to climb the slope
of the valley, each bringing seal skins filled with Lodestones. Reaching the top, they
start throwing the Lodestones into the sea. Emeria decides to keep a rock in her pocket.
"You never know, it can be useful"
"Not surprising that the Sproutt’s boat sank here", Emeria said as she looked up the
cliff.
"And the sea, the waves are so powerful"
"Where are we?", Edward asked.
"I do not know, but my goal is to discover it"
"How?"
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"By building a boat. I'm going to depart from the other side of the island where the seals
are"
"But there are plenty of big rocks to avoid"
"A small boat very strong and fast should work"
"It's weird that we've never had visitors. Maybe our island is located in a less visited
area?", Edward asked.
"The island is very tiny and very difficult to access, from a distance it must resemble to a
large abandoned rock … and the village is buried in a deep valley"
"I remember once, on the other side of the island, I was playing with the seals and
heard a noise coming from the sky. I looked up and saw an object that left 2 white
traces behind ... And it was not a brown skua bird, as Master John called it, it was much
higher in the sky ... ", she remembered.
"Okay, enough talking, let's finish the job. There's still a lot of Lodestones to bring up",
Emeria continued.
She takes a quick look at Edward. He is a handsome man, square jaw, beautiful blue
eyes and long black hair. Emeria can not help hugging him and kissing him tenderly.
"Thanks for everything", she whispered.
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CHAPTER 4
Edward is on his way back to the village. All of a sudden, he heard shouts from
the archives of Master John. He believes to recognize the voices of Master John and
Jim, father of Emeria.
"We could melt it", Jim said.
"We do not have the equipment to extract it"
"Also, the cave is the key to maintain the ecosystem and especially to protect the village
during the great cold"
"Removing it means the end of life on the island"
"Rumors circulate ..."
"What rumors?", Jim asked.
"Your daughter asks a lot of questions"
"Also, she eliminated the magnetic field of the Lodestones"
"It closes the workshop and we will have to find something else to occupy the
inhabitants"
"I do not want to see people do anything and walk around. Someone might discover the
cave"
"You know what you have to do"
"It's my daughter", Jim yelled.
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"We have agreed never to be sentimental"
"I have eliminated my wife and my son before"
"Everything we need to protect the cave"
Edward is in shock. He recedes slowly but a goat blocks him and makes him fall. His
head strikes a rock and he loses consciousness. Master John and Jim hear the noise.
"Go see what it is", Master John said.
"Okay"
Jim returns with Edward in his arms.
"He probably heard our conversation ... you have to get rid of him ... You have to throw
him off the cliff ... he’s not the first and will not be the last ..."
"Okay ... I'll wait for the rain, less inhabitants outside ..."
Emeria looks at the seals playing and sunbathing. It's such a wonderful animal. It
is very important for the inhabitants of the island, not only for its food but also for
providing oil for cooking and heating during the great cold. Its skin is used to make
clothes and to write the archives and the newspaper. Still no sign of Edward. It does not
resemble him to miss toothfish fishing. Finally, Emeria decides to return to the village to
look for him. She goes to Jennie first, she's always up to date with the latest news.
"Jennie, have you seen Edward?"
"I heard rumors ...", Jennie said with an angry look.
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CHAPTER 5
The tension is palpable. Emeria does not intend to reveal any information to
Jennie, she does not trust her. Her goal is clear and her plan accurate and Jennie is not
part of them. A voice rises from the shadow and Emeria turns around. It's Master John,
advancing slowly, with a knife in his hand.
“Your time is up”, he said.
Jennie interposes between the two.
“Sir, please, don’t hurt her”
Master John grabs Jennie by the neck and plants his knife directly to the heart, killing
her instantly.
Emeria starts to move quickly and tries to escape, but Master John stabs her in the leg.
She falls to the ground. He slowly advances to finish her ... but he is suddenly held back
by the father of Emeria … Master John is stronger, turns around and strikes his knife
just below the heart ... the father of Emeria collapses … Emeria loses a lot of blood, she
crawls painfully on the ground through the bodies of her father and Jennie. Master John
is ready to finish her and ends the massacre. She watches him advance slowly with no
knife to defend herself. Suddenly, the impossible happens, a knife pierces the
enormous body of Master John, Emeria can see the end of the blade. Master John yells
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in pain and tries to advance towards Emeria to finish her but finally, he collapses
producing a din. Emeria can see the silhouette of her mother.
"I never liked him ..."
Emeria crawls to her dying father.
"Edward is still alive ...", her father said weakly.
"He is in the silver cave under the village ... the entrance is hidden behind branches and
the place is marked by a blue rock ..."
"Emeria, I'm so sorry ... I love you ..." said her father before he died.
"Mother, please, organize a search to find Edward"
"Also, bring me all the documents from the archives of Master John"
"We will build a boat"
Emeria having lost a lot of blood fainted …
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CHAPTER 6
"You have a visitor", her mother said.
Emeria slowly opens her eyes and sees Edward.
"I'm sorry for your father, he saved my life"
"I'm sure he had regrets at the end", Emeria replied.
"I made you that ...", he said, showing the crutches.
"Thank you, it will be useful"
"How was the silver cave?"
"Wet and hot"
"There is a small pond"
"And the ceiling is very shiny"
"I looked into the archives of Master John and silver is a rare metal with great value",
her mother mentioned.
"All those dead people just for that, it's sad", Emeria replied.
"Edward, you are in charge of starting the construction of the boat. We will use the wood
and iron from the clocks"
"I will look in the archives to find the details of the Sproutt’s boat"
"We have to hurry, I have to leave before the great cold"
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After a long rest, Emeria regained strength. She now moves without crutches.
She directed the construction of the boat from her bed with the plan of the archives. The
boat must be smaller than the Sproutt’s to navigate through the large rocks. Her plan is
to go very slowly at first using the oars. The boat will be reinforced with an iron base.
Seal skins tied together by the women of the village will serve as a sail. She has
discovered that her Lodestone rock can be used to navigate the sea. Everything is
ready for the big departure.
"Your father would be proud of you", her mother said.
"I know"
"The boat is full of food and water"
"Thank you Mother"
She has already embraced and kissed Edward, she will miss him.
Emeria takes a seat in the slowly moving boat. She rows and steers it with the rudder.
She turns around and sees all the inhabitants of the island waving at her. Slowly, the
boat crosses the big rocks area. She can relax, lay down a bit and close her eyes. Not
for long ... drops of water on her face makes her jump, probably the seals who want to
play ... She opens her eyes and sees Edward.
"Did you really think I was going to miss this adventure?"
Emeria smiles ...
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