So, here's a tad bit of my own work. All characters, locations, and ideas are originals of mine. Please enjoy and give feedback! If you happen to want more, just let me know. Enjoy!
Prolog: A Winter's Night
The harsh winter air snapped at my thin fingers and cheeks, causing them to tingle endlessly as I trudged through the mounds of fresh snow. My breath was as thick steam as I exhaled, rubbing my hands together in an attempt to warm myself. What was Thyra even thinking, sending me out into such weather? Though I was in no position to question her, I honestly wondered if she was purposely sending me out on errands at the oddest of times, simply to watch me suffer.
The trees surrounding me in the south forest were dark and thick, their branches easily bigger than my waist, twisted and deformed in the dim moonlight. The white blanket of the snow veiled ground was peppered with what few plants that managed to grow above it, only to soon die from nature’s harsh ways. In the deep snow, I could see imprints of animal tracks, still visible despite the slight snowstorm which made continuous attempts to blind me.
It wasn’t too much longer before I could make out the silhouette of the towering Alkwen mansion. It stood its ground in the storm like a bulky beast, which, in addition to the howling wind, made the setting quite eerie. Of course, the area in the south forest was always that way. The trees were so large and twisted that even the smallest ray of light was soon stopped by some ill-placed branch.
As I continued, the dreary traits of the mansion made themselves more visible through the intense wind.
The mansion itself was made from a lumpy, thick stone, stretching up at least forty or fifty feet to a roof of deep blue. Extensive vines wound their way up the great walls, some even as far as to touch the top of the crude structure, their slim bodies covered in thorns. A massive slab of wood and metal acted as a great door, denying entrance to anyone who was not approved by Lord Alkwen.
Though I wasn’t “approved” per se, I also couldn’t be rejected by his Lordship. When I came and went was out of his hands, and I say so in a respectful manner.
I could see, as I squinted, a few of the large windows, filled with light from inside. I found it hard to believe someone was still up at this hour. It was at least a quarter till midnight.
Removing the thoughts from my head, I finally came to the front door, reaching for the frigid knocker with a trembling hand. My red fingers wrapped around its black metal ring, hanging from the mouth of a gargoyle, bearing its carefully crafted fangs at me with ever watching eyes. I lifted it up before slamming it back into the door as hard as I could, hoping it could be heard over the now screaming storm.
As I waited, I began to cough and wheeze. The icy air had now begun to burn the inside of my lungs, making every necessary breath more painful as I raised my black scarf and pulled my hood forward, shielding my face to the best of my abilities.
Just as I began to reach for the knocker again, I heard a sudden few clicks behind the door, followed by it opening slightly.
For a brief moment, I saw the dark figure of a woman, shadowed from the inside light. Her ridiculously small waist and seemingly large hips instantaneously told me she was wearing a tightly laced corset, and by the frilled silhouette upon her head, I could only guess she was one of the many maids.
“What is your business here, stranger?” she asked me in a loud voice, shielding her eyes with her small arm.
“I am Cormac.” I responded simply. My name alone was enough to grant me entrance.
“Master Cormac?” she quickly stepped back, opening the door slightly more to allow me to squeeze through “Please enter.”
I came through as quickly as I could, soon finding myself helping the maid to push the door back against the strong wind. After the entrance was finally sealed, I thanked her as she took my large coat off my shoulders and hung it nearby.
Much unlike its outside appearance, the Alkwen mansion was decorated splendidly with no equal. The cool stone floor held multiple scattered rugs which featured roses and other flowers of different shades, far too beautiful to simply be stepped upon. Statues of demons, gargoyles, and voluptuous female angels stood watch within the large rooms and corridors as silent guardians. Within the main room, a winding staircase met the floor, the railing carved to look like beastly dragons and the steps draped with a thick, red carpet. Stained glass windows made up pictures of lovers and mythological beasts, passionate in their eternal silence. A radiant, crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling, sparkling brilliantly from the small candles it held as they brought light to the room.
My calming thoughts were soon interrupted by the sound of firm footsteps upon the floor. With the sudden change in the once serene atmosphere to a condemned chill, I immediately knew who it was that crept out from a nearby archway.
“Cormac.” Lord Alkwen’s deep voice greeted me coldly from behind as he came forward “Back yet again, I see. To serve my wife, no doubt.”
I turned to him, bowing stiffly before answering “As always, My Lord.” bitterness built up inside me as I continued “I have no choice but to return.”
He fixed his gaze upon me, a passionate hatred burning in his look “You sound as if you seriously believe you have a right to make any choice, or simply that you have finally grasped the wits to do so.”
Lord Darkus Alkwen was a wicked man of his early thirties, tall, dominant and unfittingly handsome at every inch of his body. His skin was a ghostly white, and was in fact so pale that it made any white article of clothing upon him look grey. His jet black hair hung gently to his shoulders, laid out perfectly without even the smallest hair out of place. And at last... his eyes. Piercing, fierce, and forever judging as they stared back into mine.
He allowed a few moments of silence pass before he pardoned me, probably trying to let his sense of authority sink into my skull. After that, he ignored me, as usual, continuing down the back hall to lock himself away in his study yet again.
The maid, standing aside quietly in the back hall, curtsied to Lord Alkwen as he passed her. She then reentered the main room and continued on to the stairs, on her way to finish the tasks she had been given.
Before following the same path to receive further orders from Lady Thyra Alkwen, I glanced down the corridor opposite from the one which Lord Alkwen had gone through. At its end, on a small table in a dome-like room, a single glass vase sat. With its stem dipped into the small amount of water within the belly of the vase stood a simple jonquil flower. It was unaccompanied by any other, vibrant in color and yet so seemingly simple. To most, it was only a flower; small, delicate, and beautiful. But to me, it was much more than this. It was the jonquil which haunted me, causing me to return night after endless night.
This is more than a simple story of a slave and a flower. This, my friend, is a story of death.