The boy from the train.

This week I’m posting a part of a short story that is set in the same world as my book Imaginary friends.
It’s about a boy named Kai who does not play any role in the book itself but if I ever get to writing a sequel he will be one of the main characters. For now I just hope you like it. It starts out a little slow but then picks up at the second scene so just keep reading.

The boy with the train

Kai walked to the dining cart for breakfast, the hum of the train comfortable beneath his feet.
Hurried footsteps came up behind him and he turned to see his friend, Gale run up to him. Gale’s eyes where wide and he smiled as he came closer. He grabbed Kai by the elbow taking him aback by the intensity in the grip. “You have got to look out a window.”
Kai felt his breath catch and he grinned.
“No way, we’re there yet.”
Gale nodded.
The two of them launched themselves in the direction of the dining cart. They shoved open the door and stumbled into the well lit room. The servers and the cook were already crowding by the window. Kai and Gale moved past them until they pressed against the window.
This was it. This was the moment Kai had come on the journey for.
For a moment the rising sun blinded him, but he squinted until his eyes focused. His breath caught in his chest.
The moving city was a silver mirage in the morning light. The top of the towers had rainbows dancing around them. There was a slow shift and Kai let his eyes move from the city itself to the creature on which it was built. The large creature had fine silver scales covering its sides and arrow head. The light flickered over it as it got to its feet and raised its head to look over the surrounding valleys.
What must it be like to live on something like that?
He and Gale stood there for a moment, watching the creature come closer. After the a minute the rest of the staff member started wandering off to work, leaving them alone.
“Do you think we’ll get to go up there?” Gale asked.
Kai shrugged. “That sure would be something wouldn’t it?”
The morning bell rung and the Kai dragged his eyes away from the silver city. “We need to go relieve the night shift.”
Gale nodded absently without taking his eyes of the creature.
Kai looked to it again and felt his heart beat pick up. It was getting close now.
He took Gale by the elbow and pulled him away from the window. “Let’s go.”
The two of them wandered away from the window and out of the dining cart. Kai glanced over to Gale one more time only to see his friend stare into space. Well why not? Not even the train staff like themselves got to see the walking cities every day.

 

 

“Faster, faster,” Kai’s supervisor, Odalis called. Sweat dripped over Kai’s eyes and he had to shift the box on his shoulder to be more comfortable. They were in the shadow of the city now as it stood grazing the soft fluffy plants that grew around the area.
“We do not want to keep our buyers waiting. Hurry up Kai.”
Kai grinned at his supervisor, Odalis.  Today despite his instance that they were in a hurry, the man was grinning from ear to ear.
It must be the cities effects.
“How are we going to get this up there, Sir?” Kai asked looking up at the belly of the creature that provided a ceiling.
“Did you see the ropes and ladders?”
Kai glanced back to the nearest edge of the creature. The large rope ladders were probably not the safest way to get the rest of the train’s cargo up the creatures back.
“Sir, I don’t think that will work.”
Odalis laughed. “We won’t be hauling the cargo up those, we’ll climb up them ourselves. The cargo will be taken up with pulleys.”
Kai frowned. “Then why are we walking around beneath the creature?”
“Oh this is called the shadow market, for quite literal reasons. We’ll drop of these boxes and then we’ll be heading up the city.”
That explained why Gale wasn’t with them. Kai was long use to Odalis’s back street work but Gale would never have gone along with this.
Kai smiled at Odalis.
“You’re making me drag these boxes after your illegal work. I dare say, I might need a percentage of whatever you’re getting out of this deal.”
Odalis shook his head, a smile on his lips. From anyone else the teasing would have been a real threat. Kai raised his chin a little. It was kind of nice to be so trusted.
After a minute they spotted two people, a man and a woman who waved at them. Despite what they where there for neither of them dressed like criminals. There were no dark cloaks or knives hidden in secret folds of the clothing. The man had dark skin and was dressed in a simple green button up shirt, the sleeves of which he had rolled up to his elbows. He was half turned to them half to the woman. His eyes followed them as they came closer a hint of a smile hidden there somewhere.
The woman herself seemed to pull to one side. Her weight placed on only one leg, her head tilted slightly letting her silver hair create a curtain over half her face. Kai tried to keep himself from staring but couldn’t help but notice how pale she was as they neared. She had pale eyes and her cheeks held nearly no colour. Her bleak appearance was helped by the light purple dress she had on.
The man’s eyes moved from Odalis to Kai as they neared, a small frown formed on his brow. He exchanged a glance with the woman and nodded. Her expression didn’t change as she regarded Kai.
After a moment of standing in silence she looked away from Kai.
“I’m assuming you’re Odalis.” Her voice was barely more than a whisper but still clear.
Odalis nodded. “Let’s haggle.”
The man shook his head. “Let’s introduce ourselves first, you can call me Ido and this is Val. Before we start talking money we need to see the product first.”
Odalis nodded and moved to open the bow he carried in his own arms but Ido cut him off.
“No, we want to see what’s in the boy’s box. I wouldn’t put it past you to have only half of what we ordered.”
Odalis frowned but nodded.
Never argue with the customers was his policy. You never know who would rather shoot you then buy from you.
“Open the box kid,” Odalis said.
Kai nodded and pulled the bag from his shoulder. He knelt and put it on the ground.
Paranoid little buyers weren’t they?
Kai opened the box. Inside were six simple elbow long rods. Kai frowned at this. Was this really what they were selling this time?
The woman peered into the box and nodded.
“All looks good enough, let’s talk money.”
Kai listened for a moment as they started talking about the prices… high prices. He looked at the silver rods again.
No way are they worth all that.
Kai looked up from the box to see Val brush a streak of hair behind her ear. She seemed so… delicate, much too delicate for someone walking around on the shadow market. His eyes caught onto something on her wrist, a simple flower tattoo made of swirls set into a circle.
She looked at him and he realized he was caught. She smiled and for a moment he could do nothing more than blink. She gave a soft giggle and returned her attention to the discussion above his head. Kai let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding.
“How about you help us get this to our carriage.” Her question was directed to Odalis who frowned.
“Not in our in agreement I’m afraid.”
Ido shrugged. “We’ll pay you an extra hundred, what difference does it make?”
Kai’s eyes grew. An extra hundred was an entire fortune all on its own.
Kai looked up to Odalis whose mouth formed a thin line. There was no way where they missing out on a bargain like this.
Odalis shook his head. “Sorry but no, I’m old my and joints are sore.”
Kai couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“The lad is young, he can help.” Val’s voice was cheerful.
Odalis started shaking his head but Kai jumped to his feet. “I’ll do it.” The extra hundred could pay for an apprenticeship.
Odalis opened his mouth to say something but Val was already there. “Thank you, well aren’t you sweet.”
She put her hand on Kai’s arm and pulled him a step closer to her and Ido. Val’s fingers where cold and for a strange moment a wave of dizziness hit him.
He shook his head to shake it off and bent to pick up the box with the silver rods, a moment later Val was leading him by the arm deeper beneath the city. Odalis stood frowning after them and Kai gave him an apologetic wave.
He was going to use the money he made from this to become an apprentice of someone on the train. Perhaps even become a railway engineer. They walked for what felt like an hour. After the initial excitement left him Kai simply stared around them. The deeper they went the less people they came across.
“How far will we be walking?” Kai asked finally. His shoulder was getting sore from carrying the box again.
“Oh I think we’ve gone just far enough.” Ido stopped right in front of Kai.
Kai frowned looking around. There was nothing there, not a single person or cart.
He looked back to find Val smiling at him, a single silver pole in her hand.
“Didn’t your mother tell you not to wander off with strangers?” She asked before swinging.

 

So that was it. If you stop by next week you’ll get the next couple of scenes along with another cool post that I’m currently planning. It’s about opening scenes and my personal struggles with them.

That’s it.
Do you like the character Kai so far? How about the city? Would you like me to describe it better? I’m interested what do you expect of the story from what I’ve given you here?

Kings and Queens

So this is part of my #seizeThePen projects. You can see the rest here.

 

Countries watched as the two children walked up to each other, each one with a crown to heavy for them placed onto their heads.
Daren looked at the girl in front of him and could do no more than blink. All around the crowed was whispering about the pains of war but the girl in front of him didn’t seem to react. Daren tried his best to lock out the crowds words himself.
The girl tilted her head and he felt his stomach twist. This was messed up, he wasn’t ready for this.
The girl stuck out her hand. “I’m queen Anders,” she said softly.
Daren smiled at her and took her hand in his own as he had been taught. He nodded to her before raising her thin fingers to his lips.
“I’m king Daren. It’s an honour to finally meet you.”
Anders smiled slightly and Daren let go of her hand.
Anders glanced past him to where his group of advisers and diplomats stood wringing their hands and chewing their lips. Daren followed her gaze but quickly decided to glance at her team instead. A single man stood there, dressed in fine silk. His hands where clutched in front of him but he kept his head high.
“It seems we stand on equal ground,” Anders said softly.
“What do you mean?” Daren frowned.
“Your group over there doesn’t seem to be pleased at having a kid as their king.”
Daren pulled in a deep breath but met the Anders’s eyes. They where deep blue with heavy lashes.
“So it’s the same for you then?”
She nodded slightly. “They miss my parents and more than half of them would gladly take my place.”
“Well I’m glad they haven’t” Daren said smiling slightly.
She smiled too, her eyes wrinkling at the corner.
“So King Daren,” She said waving her hand to the building next to them. “There are things we need to discuss.”
Daren nodded and held out his arm. She took it and he lead her up the stairs. As they walked Daren couldn’t help but notice how she swayed when she walked. She carried her head high and much to his annoyance he realized she was taller than him.
He took a deep breath and continued climbing the stairs, a young queen at his side.

The red angel

This is one of my #seizeThePen projects and you can go see the rest here.

This is just a rough draft, but I hope you guys enjoy.

 

People like to look past children, mark them off as unthreatening. After all when you are a tall soldier with a massive sword in your hand the little kid standing in front of you are nothing more than an ant to be squashed.
I processed all this as I stared up at the ranks of soldiers standing in front of me. Their armour glinted in the soft morning light and the captains could be identified by their green cloaks that shifted in the morning breeze.
They glared down at us. Knowing we were enemy but not believing us to be a threat.
Clara cleared her throat next to me and I glanced over as she took a step toward the army, her hands held out in front of her to show she has no weapons. She was eleven like me and had her light brown hair tied in a high pony tail. She glanced at me and smiled her normal elfish smile that made me relax a little. There was seven of us, facing an army of hundreds and still somehow I knew she was going to get us out of this.
Clara lifted her head a little as she returned her focus back to the army. A hundred pairs of murderer eyes took her in all at once. Her delicate shoulders where covered in her golden armour. It had been fashioned to look as if golden wings where sprouting from her back to protect her. Each feather was a masterful work of art.
“Gentlemen, I have been sent to give you a warning,” She declared loudly. A few chuckles spread in the enemy lines but they quickly died down. “If you don’t turn around now and leave our land you will meet opposition and let me assure you, you will not win.”
A single captain walked out from among the ranks and greeted them with a nod.
“My dear children, please turn back to your homes and tell your families that they should just surrender. We do not wish to kill you so go back to the men who sent you and tell them we would like a peaceful solution.”
I bit on my lip glancing between the captain and Clara. She pushed her lips into a thin line and glared at the captain.
“You don’t wish to kill? Then what are you doing on our soil. If you would so love a peaceful solution, then why did you bring an army?” She said this taking a single step forward. I reached out to her only to have her shoot me a death glare. I twitched my hand back and forced it to stay by my side.
“Turn around now and all shall be forgiven. This is the only way for peace, and trust me this is the best offer you will get on this land, and the last time you shall get it.”
The captain shook his head and my head skipped a beat.
“I can’t do that child,” he said dramatically.
Clara glanced back at us and nodded once. I tightened my grip on the set of knives at my belt and as one our entire team drew our weapons. Clara held up her golden blades.
“Then you shall go through us captain and this land shall be stained with the blood from war.”
There was a uneasy ripple in the enemy lines and I smiled slightly. They had until now lied to themselves and believed they would only be killing proper soldiers not children. I was more than happy to remind them that they were the monsters here.
The captain glanced to his men then back at Clara who held her gaze steady.
He nodded once. “I’ll handle you myself.”
He took a single step forward before going down in a spray of blood. His troops didn’t have so much as a chance to gasp before the heavy thump sounded as his body hit the ground and the whistle that came from Clara rearming herself.
The enemy stood still and simply blinked for a moment.
“Now time for your second best offer. Leave now before more blood is spilt,” Clara ordered.
A cry of rage sounded in the enemy lines and a single soldier came charging forward. Clara whistled the signal and I flicked my wrist in a lazy movement. The knife stuck true and lodged itself in the man’s eye. The second man fell and a crazed roar broke out among the enemy. No one moved.
Clara cleared her throat.
“Last warning,” She said with a snarl. “Leave. Now,” She roared.
The enemy didn’t move and Clara nodded once. She exhaled sharply and power immediately charged the air. The hair on the back of my neck stood up straight and I swallowed the thin air.
My spine itched for a moment so I shut my eyes. My heart beat slowed for a moment. I could still feel the magic around me. I could still feel Clara. My fingers itched but I kept my talons hidden.
Clara gave the last signal and my eyes shot open. My heart beat picked up and I shot off running after Clara the other five close on my heals.
The first soldier I hit went down like a bag of flour and from there of on it was easy. Metal armour was paper to me, sword was no more than harmless twigs.
My eyes flinched as blood sprayed into my face and my toes wriggled as it filled my socks.
These soldiers had come here expecting a war but instead they walked into a massacre. They should have taken Clara’s deal, she did warn them.
I glanced over to her, she was no longer the golden angel she had been just moments ago. Her light hair and golden wings where coated with slick red blood. I felt my stomach tighten but smiled slightly. Let them see her, and let them run. She was the red angel.

 

The secret talent.

Tess felt her cheeks grow red as the professor pulled her by the arm through the academy’s halls past groups of curios students. Professor Nile didn’t seem to notice them and his pace neither slowed nor quickened. The pair rounded a corner and Tess found herself being shoved into the head masters office.
“Professor Nile,” The head master said looking up from his desk straight at Tess “is this, the girl you where telling me about?”
“It is,” the professor said shoving Tess into a chair, a look of glee spreading across his face.
“Then you may go” The head master said and professor Niles good mood vanished immediately.
“Sir if what we suspect is true you might need me here,” he started to protest but the head master cut him off with a simple stare, his blue eyes seemingly paralysing the man.
“I think I am capable of protecting myself against a fifteen year old girl.”
Tess watched as Professor Nile looked down, defeated. The man exited the room without so much another word and the room fell silent.
Tess glanced at the head master. He had greying black hair and a face that must have been handsome when he was younger.
Tess realized she was staring and quickly looked down at her hand in her lap. They were both silent for a moment more and Tess could almost feel the head master summing her up as she nervously smoothed out her uniforms black skirt.
“Do you know why you are here?” The head master asked.
Tess had to bite her tongue on a vile reply about professor Niles mental state and simply shook her head.
“You are here because your professors noticed something odd about you, nothing to extraordinary but small habits you seemed to have.”
Tess frowned. What was the man talking about?
“Tessara” The head master continued using her full name “you have been seen flicking bugs that wasn’t there, you once asked a classmate if they could hear where the music was coming from when there was no music, flames flicker in your presence and your roommate swears you have some sort of reading light beneath your sheets because sometimes a faint glow comes from beneath them. Do you know what I’m talking about?”
Tess felt her eyes grow. “You think I’m nuts.” Tess said in a hushed voice. “I swear to you I do not –“
The head master cut her off with a deep laugh like that of a loving grandfather. “No Tessara, I do not think you mad and you don’t need to worry because you are not in trouble.” Tess frowned.
“Then why am I here?”Tess asked once she found her voice.
“You are here because we believe that you are special. Tessara, how would you feel about joining our elite magic classes?”
Tess felt her eyes widen and she opened her mouth and her voice stuttered, “M-Magic?”

The royal guard.

Prince Weyden the heir to the Torian throne did not like the idea of fighting alongside pirates but Venda had brought them and at that moment He was a lot more scared of his friend then what the enemy thought of him.
He swung his blade at one of the bandits but was beaten to it when Venda’s blade went through the mans chest.
“I had that one.” He muttered turning to the next attacker.
“I do not care Weyden.” Venda said kicking the body into the way of the next attacker.
He was sure now, She was mad.
He watched as she swung her blade through two more bandits her bewitched blade slicing through them like butter.
The rest of the bandits stopped fighting then the firsts hesitantly threw down his blade and ran back to the tree lines.
She didn’t even wait for them all to reach it before turning to him and levelling her blade with his throat. The pirates around them looked very confused.
“I thought you came to keep him save.” One of them, the captain said.
Venda ignored the man and locked her grey eyed gaze with Weydens.
“If you ever do anything this stupid ever again I will kill you.” She said her blade dipping unnervingly close to his exposed throat. She took a step back and seethed her sword.
“Come now Venda, where did your sense of adventure go?” he asked now that he was more confident that she wasn’t going to kill him.
“It was replaced by my sense of duty, Your Highness.”
“We have known each other since we were ten and I still don’t understand you. Your job is to keep me alive and yet you have threatened my life more than anyone else.”
She grinned at him. “This way there is no question of who your strongest enemy is.” She put her hand on his shoulder and steered him toward one of the horses.
Weyden didn’t doubt that she was the strongest person he knew but she was no enemy. He smiled at his friend, she might constantly threaten him but he knew he was more save in her company then anywhere else on the earth.

siblings.

This is two short bits that I simply wrote to fish out a character. It is marked by whose point of view I wrote from.

 

Brother
She was warmth to him, her brown eyes bright and caring. Her curls fell in waves around her face which had just enough makeup on to make her natural beauty shine. With light steps she twirled in the moonlight and even though she was surrounded by dozens of others in ball gowns none seemed to compare.
Step. Step. Twirl.
Her dance was often interrupted by young bachelors who wished to flatter her and not once did she send them away. Her laugh rang out clear through the crowd as she finished her dance with one of the young lords. She curtsied to him then as he turned away she returned to her dance.
Step. Step. Twirl.
She wove in and out through the crowd greeting those who greeted her. Groups of ladies would stop her to share just a bit of gossip which he knew she would then pass on to others later.
Step. Step. Twirl.
So she would dance her head held high her feet occasionally stopping but he knew this was part of her dance. This was where she shined.

 

Sister.
Dona watched as he paged through the thick red book as he lay with his legs over the arm of the couch.
Although she had changed into a more comfortable dress after the ball he was still dressed in his red and black tunic the buttons now loose.
She sat on the floor in front of the fire going over their families books listening to him hum one of the songs that was played at the ball that night.
She studied him as his fine fingers flipped to the next page. Reading wasn’t considered a manly thing to do which was most likely the reason she has been unable to find a wife for him.
“I saw you chatting with Lidia tonight.” Dona said and he looked up from his reading. “Do you enjoy her company?”
He smiled at her. “I sometimes wonder why you are considered a great politician since you aren’t the mot subtle person in the world.”
“Yes well the family has tip toed around this long enough, you need a wife.”
“I don’t see you getting married any time soon, and you’re older than me.”
“I’m simply waiting.”
“For what? it’s pretty obvious Lord Santo likes you.”
Dona smiled. Her brother always claimed that he wasn’t interested in the court and yet he noticed much more than most of those frivolous lord and ladies.
“The family would get nothing out of an alliance with them.”
“Everything you do doesn’t have to be for the family. You could just marry for love.”
Donna didn’t reply and he simply went back to his reading.
His brown eyes flickered from page to page and she watched as they slowly closed. He held the book upright for a moment with his eyes closed then simply let it drop to his chest.
She smiled at her little brother.

He read fairy tales and believed in true love. One of them had to.

Midnight madness: #7 Trapped

“Couldn’t they have tied me to anybody else? A snake would be better company.” Argon said his voice nearly a growl.
“You would think so” Magi found herself saying “but take it from someone who is tied to a snake, you are better off.”
Her old friend simply pulled down on the chain that tied them together over a pipe along the ceiling. Magi was nearly lifted of her feet and the metal cuff cut deeply into her wrist causing blood to spill.
“Argon!” Magi called trying to kick him through the metal bars. He let her drop back to the floor.
They where silent for a moment .
“Do you have a plan yet?” Argon asked.
“Why should I come up with a plan? It is your fault we are here.”
“Exactly why you should make the plan.”
“We aren’t planning to steel bread from a bakery this time.” Magi said, “This time we are facing armed guards.”
“I know,”
She took a deep breath, “ok then, I have a plan.”
He was silent as she explained.
“You understand right?”
He nodded.
He braced his free arm and she stepped onto his open palm.
Slowly he raised her higher, toward the pipe to which the chain was tied.
His arm gave in and all her weight was focused on her already bleeding wrist the manacle cutting into her skin.
She quickly grabbed the pipe with her free hand and simply hung there.
Blood was trickling down her arm and she swung a kick towards Argons head.
He simply grabbed her foot and lifted her further.
She studied the thick chain which was rapped double around the pipe.
“I doubt I can break the chain but the pipe seems pretty rusty.
“Go for it” he replied.
Magi took out her hair pin, which the guards foolishly didn’t take away and immediately started working on the pipe.
Her metal hairpin broke through the rusted patch pretty fast.
“Let me down.” She ordered.
He let her drop then quickly rapped his arm around her waist catching her mid fall. She stared down into his deep brown eyes her body pressed tight to his. She could feel her cheeks warming and not trusting herself to speak simply nodded to him. He gently put her down and they both took hold of their points on the chain.
“On three.” She said and he agreed.
They counted to three and started pulling together.
Argon simply pulled her of her feet again. He sighed taking hold of her part of the chain,
“Let me do it.”
He pulled from both ends at the same time and the pipe simply broke spraying water over them.
The chain slid of the rest of the pipe easily. The first step of their escape plan was completed.
They walked over to the door and he kicked it down.
The guards turned in frenzy but Magi already knew the steps. Moving fast she wrapped the chain around the first one, pulling his feet from beneath him.
The man hit his head and she got the key from his belt even as Argon took down all three the other guards with his bare hands.
She unlocked the chains and he grabbed a sword from one of the fallen guards.
Magi took one for herself the minute the shackles clanked on the floor then. They started running again leaving the fallen guards behind them.
Halfway through the first corridor they bumped into five guards two of which Argon killed instantly. Magi simply ran on pulling Argon with her in an attempt to save the guards from the steel in his hands.
At the far end of the corridor was a window that led to the streets. Magi steered them toward it as the guards behind them multiplied as more poured out from side corridors.
Magi opened the latch. She turned to see that the guards had disarmed Argon and that they were going to capture him in any moment.
Magi cursed herself as she turned to them and threw herself between him and the guards fighting them off with her sword.
Argon disappeared behind her and it took only two blows for the guard to disarm her. They grabbed her wrist forcing her to the ground.
Magi glanced back to the open window. Argon was gone. He had abandoned her again.