Alviaran Tides

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

Introduction to a story in production

Alvieran Tides


The tale which follows does not come
as a reflection of the world as know
but rather as a fantastical portrayal
 of the world as perceived by the twisted
mind of the interpreter.












Prologue
Alviera, a small town, is remembered little, even after the pursuing events. Its single ratification being the small lake next to which it was built, and ratification only in the weakest sense of the term. To those who have been there though, that which is upon the lake is held with much more significance than the lake itself.
An ancient derelict structure, too big to be of a standard kind yet too small to be ordained a manor, sits at the lake’s shore. From a distant view, which it almost always is, the house appears to rise from the surreally flat waters, its history extending beyond the memory of any living soul with the gall to tell it. Known only as the House of
Tides, it lacks any proprietor and there are none so daft as to make a claim that bold.
One virgin to its acquaintance would be most curiously struck by that name, the House of Tides, for The lake Alviera could match a mountain’s resilience and a mirror’s plain. Its tranquility justifying any recollection one may have of  the dull Alvieran countryside. Anyone with intimate knowledge of the lake though, would know that once every year the peaceful waters undergo an utter transmutation.
During the Alvieran storm season, which is prompt to an extreme, a cataclysm of unparalleled torrential catastrophe is unleashed. Raging waters from earth and sky clash to form a sphere of primal chaos amongst the otherwise painfully ordinary town.  Grueling anticipation can be enough to cast the townsfolk into a fog insanity before the storm front even casts a shadow upon the horizon‘s farthest reach. Sentient waters shift and writhe like a mad beast, at one moment seeming to swallow the House of Tides with malicious intent and at another reeling away as if stricken by the monolith’s cold defiance. The sky overhead shouts and shudders with fits of blinding light and grumbling roars of discontent that reverberate through a voluminous veil of darkness. Only the disapproving stares of the hills remain static as everything else is consumed by a kinetic frenzy.

***

Upon hearing a tale so queer and passionate as the formerly expounded, one may wonder as to why Alviera is not heralded far and wide by awestruck attestants. The town’s obscurity is only natural though, for those who have born witness to the calamity keep the memory buried deep within their souls. The House of Tides and the lake that it overlooks inspire all those who gaze upon them with feelings of overwhelming depth. Their nature becomes part of the most clandestine reaches of one’s being. One does not speak of such knowing secrets, and thus one does not speak of the house and its stormy brethren. Forever, it will remain as such, enshrouded by the obscuring madness that haunts the human soul.









Chapter 1
A sleepy gradient of browns, blues and greens cast by the midday sun envelope listless fields for what seems an eternity to those whose minds have been subdued by the incomprehensibly boring nature of the rolling country side. On the horizon the tedium is broken by an entourage of dust accompanying a carted house and its troubled charge.
The boy had been cast out on an opportunity, but to him and his genetic benefactors it was nothing less than exile. Long in this life he had been reclusive and lethargic. He had sown disappointment and now he lived it. Cursed is his name, even within his own ledgers. His father, ever the burgeoning business man, had ostensibly sent him out to perform obligated pleasantries in the interest of expanded industry. Those concerned with the affair knew though the real trial that this task presented. The boy must prove his competence or forever be socially distraught.
He was to meet the man Joel Statin at a boarding in western Alviera by the name off Shoster’s Inn. Those orders had past beneath his eyes quite literally a hundred times or so since they had been cast into his possession. The note upon which they were written was smudged and soiled by the constant groping of restless and dusty digits. So unsound is the boy that he thinks he must periodically study the text so he might not lose its knowledge from his mind. Sometimes he must even strain to recall his own name when forced to converse with an unfamiliar. Richard Syve, a good name,… or maybe just adequate. Regardless, all would naturally proceed as foreseen,… or would it? Other times there are a thousand things that could go awry, and all of them cut through his gut with the sickening pangs of unbound nerves.
His capricious musings were cut short by a voice from above. One so entrenched within their own mind might believe for a moment this the voice of some higher being come to destroy their world of isolation. The horrified façade presented by his young passenger befuddled the driver. Now use to frequent apparitions from this boy he hastily repeated. “Young sir we have arrived in Alviera.” He added with a hint of mockery “ I believe this is your destination.”
The driver’s humor lost on him “Yes, thank you. Please tell my father that I have arrived without incident, then return with haste. This should not take but a day or two.”
“Of course, you need not mind yourself with my haste sir.”
The drivers words once again falling on deaf ears, he turned his cart and quickly proceeded back towards civilization. All the while he wore a sneer for the queer young man and for the prospect of the mind numbing journey ahead.
The small town that confronted Richard seemed inviting but the apparent lack of citizenry gave him an uneasy feeling. He had grown use to becoming lost in the large aloof crowds that always courted large cities. He realized that here he would be forced to interact with those he encountered at risk of appearing extremely rude otherwise. Slowly he began to drift with his luggage in tow toward the west, his eyes never resting on one object for more than a breath. In all this activity though anyone could have easily surprised his busy mind. One could be down the street with nary all his possessions before comprehension set upon him. His heart skipped a beat. Finally, a sign of salvation, the weary wooden words Shoster’s Inn loomed before him as a sign of eternal salvation.
A creeping shadow leapt from the dust as a newly invigorated young man. He gaily sprang through the well greased oaken doors of the cozy little boarding house and smiled unabashedly at its cozy interior. This behavior surprised even himself so uncharacteristic it was. He decided to run with it though. Maybe, just maybe, things could be different this time. His father may posses more foresight than he new. Before the proprietor had reason to question his pause he jaunted up to the front desk. “I have a reservation for one Mr. Syve.”
“Yes, four nights I believe.” There must be few attendants for the owner, Mr. Shoster as should be said, to have ready knowledge of His reservation. Richard couldn’t fathom why anyone could possibly want to holiday in this country. As a matter of fact he didn’t even know why he was meeting Mr. Statin here.
“I shall probably only be here for two days. My business is short but my father likes to be… prepared.” The last he mumbled with more than a small hint of apology.
“Don’t worry, I have plenty of rooms to spare. An over booking here or there doesn’t disturb my livelihood.”
Ever the raconteur, an awkward silence began to form until Richard hastily broke away. “… I guess I’ll see myself upstairs then.”
“Wait boy! You have no key.”
“Oh right.”
“Here, your room is second on the right. The wash room is at the end of the hall and dinner is served at seven.”
Mortified, “Alright, thank you sir.”
From down the stair, “don’t be a stranger…”
The events of the day had worn him back into mental isolation. His body carried him through the door and unto his bed. Deep rumination kept him from observing the sparsely furnished room and its musty undertone. Soon slumber came as a hazy salvation to envelope his troubled mind. It was just after noon, but he had time enough to spend.

  ***

The last of the sun’s embalming warmth slowly wafted back to the heavens and  cool tendrils from the Lake Alviera slowly spread out to grasp and pick at the town above. Droplets of sweat on Richards forehead turned to chilly beads at this molestation and stirred their creator from his slumber. It was late. That much he knew. The barely audible hum of human activity and conversation that associates with waking hours was completely absent. Richard sat up quickly surprised by the sudden loneliness that threatened to engulf him. He was never one for socializing, but he had never experienced physical isolation like this before. He was conditioned to living in the city that never slept. 
Now too anxious to sleep Richard wandered quietly out to the street. He wanted some fresh air to clear his head and a chance to familiarize himself  with the town while its inhabitants were absent. Without a cloud in the sky there was plenty of pale moonlight to guide his way.
Most of the town appeared to be residential, exceptions being the general store, Shoster’s, and a humble eatery. His father had told him that the economy of Alviera was mostly self-sufficient. It had little communication or trade with  the rest of the world. It’s food was provided by local farms and ranches. Richard was suspicious of why his father had told him this and why this deal had to take place in such an isolated town. He suspected something less than reputable until he remembered that Joel Statin was one of the most righteous souls he knew. Maybe Joel was just in the area or perhaps his father wanted him to learn something in Alviera. It didn’t matter really. His only purpose was to begin his quest of redemption. He hoped that one day he could face his family with pride, at least within his own heart.
This train of thought only increased his anxiety, so he decided it would be better to focus on something else. Alviera had a lake nearby. He had seen it when he arrived, unconsciously, but he had seen it none the less.  The lake might offer the peace he needed. It was a short walk to the lake facing side of the town.
A lake was in theory a place to reconnect and meditate with nature. He couldn’t imagine anyone ever doing anything remotely like that at Lake Alviera. It was not natural. So still was it that it appeared more like a gargantuan mirror than a body of water. He now recalled how his father had told him of Alviera. More curiosity than instruction lay within his voice that day. His father knew not the reason for Alviera’s isolation. Richard suspected that the lake drove off all the progressive minded leaving only those too burdened with hard work to care.
Growing more unsettled by the moment, Richard supposed that his room was the best place to rest his mind after all. At first he retreated at a swift past. Adrenaline set in though and he was running before long. Just around the corner then a scream and suddenly the ground is where the sky should be. Richard was more confounded than he had ever been. Could this be a dream? No, he was laying face first in the dirt.
“Are you all right?!” the voice of a person… a woman.
Richard flipped over with dizzying speed to face the intruder of his nocturnal sanctuary. The face of a young woman was barely visible through whirling tears of pain. She wore a hood that shadowed her features, but Richard could just make out loose lockets of curly blonde hair reflecting the moon’s ghostly green light.
“You shouldn’t run in the dark. You’ll injure yourself with such foolishness.”
Still questioning the reality of the situation, Richard thought he uttered a curt “yes”  then stumbled back toward Shoster‘s. Little starlets of piercing light swimming in his vision guided his way back. He awoke in his bed, so at least that much had truly happened.
Today he would meet Joel. Soon he could be on his way home, far from this twisted land. He had concocted a new theory on the location of this business. Surely his father new this place was as strange a town as any could find. This was a test of his fortitude, his resolve. Richard would return victorious though. The completion of his task was too close for failure.


Submitted: January 20, 2009

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