I don’t really feel like doing much in the way of introductions for this next piece of writing. All you need to know is it’s the prologue of my next novel trilogy.
The first book will be called the “High Queen of Esnium.”
It’s high fantasy and I hope you like it!
High Queen of Esnium – Prologue.
“If you don’t make it to tomorrow’s dinner I will stab you with a fork,” Aster’s mother threatened her. The woman’s face was bright with laughter despite the threat and the tip of her nose was bright pink from the cold air.
Aster wondered what all the court members would say of their beloved High Queen if they saw her like that – dressed in flight pants and with her light hair pulled into a tight braid and not a single pearl on her. At that moment, the High Queen looked less like her normally noble and delicate self but more like… well Aster.
“There’s no need to threaten her,” Aster’s dad said stretching his one wing into his wife’s direction. “You only need to tell her that young Nick will be there and she’ll be there two hours early.”
Aster’s face was pink, and it wasn’t simply because of the cold mountain air. She pulled her wings in close to her as she turned her back on both of her parents and walked over to the edge of the cliff.
The mountains where empty this time of year, when instead of soft green grass it was covered in stone hard ice. The sun was just starting to come up, and painted the sky bright greens and blues – the brightness of the colours contrasting with the white earth.
“I’m not going to the party,” Aster said, her voice sullen despite the smile she was hiding from them. “Regardless of who is coming.”
“Yes, you are coming,” Aster’s mother said again. “I invited King Tatsuo and his son. They are both attending. I want you to try and make friends with the boy.”
“He’s just kid,” Aster moaned.
“You’re acting like a kid right now,” Aster’s mother said. “Please Aster, after the incident this summer; it’s as if the whole alliance with them has been on edge. Tomorrow is to help smooth things over.”
Aster’s dad was quiet but Aster could picture him frowning. Her mother had a knack for knowing when things were about to go wrong, so her words seemed more like a warning then simply a request for help.
Aster turned to her parents again. They were the two most regal people she knew, and that meant quite something. Her father had great big purple wings, that marked him as High King but she had the feeling that even without the wings no one would be able to mistake him for anything less than noble. He stood tall and strong, his one arm around his wife’s waist as he looked down at her with a slight frown.
The high Queen herself was looking right at Aster.
“Come on, please?” she asked sweetly.
Aster knew that if she disagreed one more time, all the nice asking would vanish and her mother would still have her stuffed in a dress in time for the party. She still didn’t want to go – the whole ball would be thrown in honour of her – the heir to the throne – and honestly she couldn’t help but feel like it was wrong. The title wasn’t meant for her.
Aster pulled in a deep breath at the sight of her mother’s face and knew that she had lost.
“Fine, I’ll go,” Aster said.
The queen started to grin and pulled out of her husband’s embrace as she walked out to Aster, her arms outstretched.
“It’s going to be so much fun, you’ll see. I have the perfect dress planned out for you” The queen put her hands on Aster’s shoulders.
Aster regretted her decision on the spot but caught her dad smiling at her. Their eyes met for a moment before he nodded his thanks.
Perhaps if she did this, she might at least be useful as an heir.
Her mum’s hands went stiff on Aster’s shoulders. Aster frowned at her and looked up to see her mum staring just past her into the open air.
“What is it?” Aster asked starting to turn around.
“We need to get out of here,” Aster’s mum said pushing Aster away from the edge. Aster’s dad caught on immediately and reached out for the two of them. He was too late.
A great big arrow whizzed past Aster’s head, missing her and her mother by a hair’s breath. Aster was facing just the right direction to see it thump into her dad’s chest.
Her breath caught but she opened her mouth to scream anyway. Her dad – her king – stumbled back a step. Then fell.
Aster’s mother pushed her backwards now, straight towards the edge of the cliff. The ground gave way beneath Aster’s feet and finally the scream broke free of her lungs.
Aster screamed even as she flung open her wings. She screamed as she finally caught a glimpse of the giants standing on a nearby peak. She screamed as her mother spread her own multicoloured wings to slow their fall.
Their fall broke into a stumbling glide and they fell away from the attacking giants, as well as where they had left her dad.
Another arrow was fired and went straight through the queen’s left wing.
The High Queen screamed in pain, and they fell the last bit.
Aster struck her head and stars filled her vision. She ignored it and scrambled out from beneath her mother. She managed to push herself onto her haunches before the world started to tilt. She balanced her footing even as she grabbed her mum by the arms.
“Come on mum,” Aster said pulling. “We need to get out of here.”
Her mum looked up at Aster, her eyes glazed slightly over, the traces of magic was clear in the queen’s face. Aster had only seen this happen to her mum once before and her heart sank.
“We’re not going to make it,” The queen said with certainty. Aster shook her head.
“Yes we are,” she said. “We’re going home now.”
She pulled on her mother’s arms one more time and managed to pull her mother into a sitting position. The whole world shifted at the movement. Aster stumbled and had to let go of her mum to steady herself.
She saw him then. A giant dressed in a fur coat stood not ten steps away from them, crossbow in hand.
“I already saw one of my children die,” The queen whispered.
Aster’s turned to her mum to warn her about the giant. It wasn’t necessary.
Her mother grabbed at Aster, her grip strong as she started to whisper.
“Mum, no,” Aster started but before she knew it darkness enveloped her. Cold stone closed around her and she opened her mouth to scream but the cold filled her mouth too. She tried to look for her mum, but the High queen was gone.
So was everything else.
There it is!
The Prologue of a story not yet completely planned out. Over the next few weeks, as I write the rough draft I will be giving you character stories, plot plans, world building secrets and of course pieces of writing like this one.
Do you have any questions so far? Please don’t be afraid to comment!