Chapter 1 – Whispers in the night
I awoke on a snow filled pathway. As I stood up, brushing the white flakes off my worn trousers, I scanned the area surrounding me. Forests either side of me, stretching far into the fog filled distance, I was cold, and I was lost but curiously never lonely. I checked my pockets for belongings, for anything. I was empty of possessions, and of the knowledge of my past. The bitter breeze began to pierce through my raggedy blue jumper; it was equally as lived in as my navy blue chinos. I began to walk forward, the only thing I saw behind me was my snow trodden footprints, it wasn’t much but it was something, I was alive. Every so often flashes of light in the distance penetrated through the misty vapour, I didn’t feel alone because I wasn’t, something was happening around me, I was walking along a pathway, a corridor between a warzone, I could feel the tension, I could sense the anger. Still though, no clarity of vision, blocked by a blanket of fog so thick that the flashes of light didn’t exceed it, they merely illuminated with a heavenly glow. My hearing became my guide, I followed the sounds which bellowed in the distance, they became louder and louder as I progressed. My walk began to speed and before I knew it I was running, the snow beneath me crunching ever louder, then suddenly I tripped……… I didn’t fall very far and the snowy surface cushioned my lunge. I rolled over gently from my front to my back, and as I lay there with flakes of ice drifting onto my cheek, I heard whispers. It sounded off at different locations, switching from close to far, peaking at a point where I could feel the breath of the speaker on my ear. Now I knew I wasn’t alone, but could they see me? I lay still like a winter log scared of the fire, I slowed my breathing to a point of danger, the whispers began to flow over me, and this wasn’t a single voice. It was a chorus. They travelled away from the direction I was walking. I made my eyes heavy and concentrated on the sound; I slowly began to piece the murmurs together. Out of context the undertones spoken sounded gothic and ghostly, however as I patched together a quilt of words, it was then when the wind that pierced through me, turned to fear and terror. “Find………him……catch…….him…….kill……..him” the whispers floated over me. I lay there as they drifted with military repetition. Gradually they passed; I could hear them getting further away, until………gone. Silence had arrived.
I slowly stood up and once again brushed off the snow, now it was almost routine-like. Boldly I carried on walking, was I crazy? I didn’t feel crazy, I felt like I was going somewhere, somewhere that I had been before………..but where? The extensive layers of fog surrounding me began to subside, I saw light in the distance, and I saw colours getting closer, more vivid with each step taken. The random flashes of light and chaotic noise had drifted with the whispers. The light from the distance was now close; it was a street lamp, illuminating the picturesque village of Summer Grove. As I continued to embark further into the village, across the cobble roads and into the town’s centre, I noticed the absence of people. Doors on houses and shops were open and ajar. Something had happened. I guessed it was connected to those whispers of the night, the flashes of light and noises of chaos. Something had ripped through Summer Grove, and it was looking for something, or someone. I reached a water fountain in the centre of the town; it was frozen up with the minus temperatures. I sat down on the bench which boarded around the fountain. As I looked more closely I saw that the face of the statue looked pained. The statue was of a young lad, he must have been 12 years old at most. It was as if he had seen something, something terrible, the sort of terrible thing that changes a person for ever. It got me thinking about my past, who was I? Why was I wandering aimlessly? As I looked down at the floor amidst deep thought, a flash of sparkle caught my eye, it was a coin. I stared down at the coin, it was circular and gold. As I leant down to pick it up, a voice sounded off. “That’s my coin, are you going to steal my coin?” I span round quickly to face the voice, however no one was there! I stood up and surveyed the area, not a soul. “You don’t remember me do you” the same voice sounded off again. “Where are you?” I asked more intrigued than ever. A moment of silence passed, I looked around again; circling the fountain, there was nobody! Just I and the statute of the boy………..wait a minute! No, it couldn't be, could it? I slowly circled back round the fountain, picking the coin up on my way; I stopped when I was facing the statute. I looked it straight in the stonewashed eyes as I held the coin and said, “This is your coin? Well if it’s yours then take it, go ahead!” I stared at the statue, locked in a moment of hope, Speak, I thought; make it so I’m no longer alone.
I waited for a few more seconds, then just as I broke the locked in eyes, from out of nowhere, the statute cracked into a thousand pieces, a limber figured flipped from out of the stone casing and grabbed the coin! “Thanks!” it was the same voice. I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned round to find……..no one, the only thing on my eye line was the houses in the distance. Suddenly I felt a sharp kick to my shin! “Hey, I said thanks!” the voice sounded off again, this time it was lower. I looked down to see a small boy, he had a grin that would lighten the darkest room, he was stood there hand on hip flipping his coin in the air. “I’m sorry, erm, you’re welcome” I answered in a tone that suggested I was stuck between a reply and a question. The boy didn’t seem to hold a grudge for my lack of social convention; he took me by the hand and sat me back on the bench. He climbed up onto the bench and stood next to me, now he was on eye level. “That’s OK friend, I’m sure you’re having trouble remembering your name, let alone manners. It will all come back in time, when the spell wares off!” I looked at the little guy with full fixation, I didn’t know my name, he was right. I could have sworn he said something about a spell too? It didn’t surprise me though; I had just seen another person jump from inside a statute, a little bit of magic was hardly a reach for my newly stimulated imagination. “You know my name?” I asked with strong desire. He placed his coin into his pocket and put his hands on each of my shoulders. “Of course I do, I’m your friend, friends know names, it’s the way things work round here” he laughed as he jumped down of the bench and began to slowly walk off. “Come on, I think we better get going before the shadow catchers come back!” the little guy shouted as he once again flipped his coin. I stood up slowly, confused and eager for answers I followed tentatively. The name of the shadow catchers resonated for reasons unbeknown to me. I scanned behind me to check my back as I continued to follow my little guide.
Questions were taking over my mind so I had to ask, “What’s my name? Who am I? What did you mean about the spel…..before I could finish my third question in quick succession, my newly acquainted friend interrupted, “I know you have questions Charlie, and I will answer them, however we must hurry, if the shadow catchers return, we will be stuck in Summer Grove and we won’t be able to save your friends!”
I sensed the desperation in his tone; I caught up to him as we enter the gates of a garden. They were tremendous gates, epic in size, and ridiculous in detail. The air had become practically clear again; it was like bonfire night after all the smoke had settled. The garden was beautiful, a pallet of colours and textures. Water features heated to keep active in the cold, the steam coming from the fountains just added to magical atmosphere. As we progressed along the brick laid path, I notice the lights along the side were floating. I stopped for a second to take a closer look.
Upon closer inspection I saw a thin line of rope skirting the pathway, and dancing along this tightrope was what I can only describe as fairies. They were tiny little things with glowing wings, agile and gracious they danced along the rope as they sang. It was only when I concentrated that I heard their song. Suddenly I felt a tickle upon my hand. One of the little guys had flown upon me; I lifted my hand up as if I was checking the time to take a closer look at this magical creature………..
Last edited by nathan1289
on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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