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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Episode 1

He poured himself a drink from the beautifully wrought crystal carafe and carefully placed it back on the cherry wood Louis XV, pensively.
“You shouldn’t overexcite yourself so much. The girl will return.” He finally stated, to break that awful silence, and sipped.
“You think so?” A broken voice replied from the sofa, the speaker kept from sight. The prince hadn’t stirred for hours. He handed him a full cup along with a comforting smile.
“I’m sure.”
A deep sigh.
“I wish I could be so positive.” He sprung up and ran a hand through his half-long messy dark hair. “But I fear the worst.” The lad paced toward the window and looked out, his hand on the pane as if he could reach out to her.
Velvet curtains of the dimmest shades of red lined every opening. It was about time his young master adjusted to more modern times instead of clinging to the era of his birth. Maybe this girl could be of use.
“Don’t worry. All our available trackers are out looking for her.”
“And? They’ve been looking for hours and still no trace of her. No news.” He looked down at his cup and flung it against the wall. Frustrated. Like a caged animal. They better find her soon.
“They will find her. They will bring her back.”
For the first time since he came in, his young lord looked up at him, tears in his eyes. His voice sounded choked.
“I hope so.”
The desperation in his gaze was too much to bear for his older counsellor. He looked away. The prince realized the cause, and turned back to the window, staring out into the dark. Where could she have gone?
“Where are the Nightstalkers? Are any rogues roaming about?”
“No, Your Highness, none are on our grounds. It’s safe.”
“Double the squads regardless. Tell them to eliminate all potential threats at sight.”
He nodded and went into the hallway to hiss the order to one of the guards. He ran off, passing the message on to the squad commander.
When he came back in, the prince had his two palms up against the glass, looking out. He looked so gruesomely tired.
“My Lord, you haven’t slept all day, please, get some rest. Let us take care of it.” The lad smacked his head against the glass so hard it showed slight cracks.
“Oh, why did she leave me, Lucas? I’ve been good to her, right, why would she run away?”
There was a long silence. How could he explain it to this boy, who was so much still a stranger to love?
“Because it is in the girl’s nature.”
The boy sobbed quietly. To this man who has been his care-taker all his life, it was deafening. Why couldn’t he have saved himself all this heartache and picked a more docile mate?
“Please stop crying.”
“I promised her everything. The world she could have on a silver platter, if only she accepts me.”
“Give her time, my prince. The girl is only confused. She’s lived her entire life in fear of us, fighting us, protecting all she holds dear from us. Have some patience with her.”
“Patience?” His eyes flickered for a minute with anger. It was a promising start to returning to his former self. “I’ve waited for her for centuries, I’ve always waited for her and now that I’ve found her, she turns me down.” He picked up a vase from a stand and hurled it across the room. It smashed into a thousand pieces with a racket as loud as if it came from hell itself. “She flees from me!” Now the stand itself met a similar end and his master sunk unto the ground, looking like a boy again.
“Please.” He said, the word pending in the air. He stood there, gazing at him awkwardly, torn between the counsellor, that stands strong beside his ruler at all times, and the caretaker in him.
He made a hesitant step towards the boy that was his son in all but blood, reaching out and pulled back when the door was yanked open suddenly.
A messenger bowed to each of them. “Your Highness, sir... I bring word from the...”
The prince scrambled up, a gleam of expectation over his face. “Have they found her?”
“No, my lord, not yet. But there is a snow storm headed right this way from the north. The troopers fear it will cover what’s left of her tracks.”
“Good grief, she will get caught in it!”
The chancellor quickly waved the messenger off, so he wouldn’t see his ruler collapse in front him, moral’s been low enough as it is with their leader risking everything over a mortal girl.
The door fell shut.
“Lucas, she could die!”
“She will be fine, Darius, she’s strong.”
“She’s only human.”
“She managed far well all these years without you, in both deserts and snow land.”
“I pray you’re right, Lucas, I don’t know what I’d do if anything were to happen to her.”
“Nothing will. She’ll be back before you know it.”
The sound of the clock on the wall, it was so nerve-wrecking. Hours ticked by without a word and big flakes of snow and hail came pouring down across the sky. Darius clasped his hand over his mouth gasping when he saw it. Lucas knew he had every reason to be worried. He’d seen people dying over less.
The sound of excited voices emerged from the hall, followed by numerous footsteps hurrying up the stairs.
A juvenile herald came stumbling in, crying out “Milord, milord...” They looked at him questionably.
“They found her.”
The mixed look he threw them, evading their penetrating glance, left them feeling eerily ill at ease. Something was amiss. Anxiously they scurried after him.

Author’s note:
I’m going ‘retro’ when it comes to my personal writing style and topics. What I’m occupied with here is what I’ve always been concerned with and then moved away from. Now I’ve made a full circle and returned where I started, bringing in later experiences. The whole feel of the things swarming around in my head right now are all part of what I like to call ‘21st Century Romanticism’ which is pretty much my artistic home (for the time being).
This, for instance, is part of what I expect to be the next project after Notebook: a tale of four brothers. As far as I can tell now, it will be some sort of vampire fiction work, though not the most conventional type. I’m very concerned and excited to find out where post-Twilight vampire fiction can take me. I have a general idea of what will happen, but it’s all very vague and is more of a loosely-knit set of episodes such as this one with no telling of how they’re interconnected, what goes where or what will turn up in between the ‘light-spots’. Like groping around in the dark.
I know I’m kind of shooting my own foot here taking on too many projects all at once, but I really can’t help it. It’s like my brain’s turned into some sort over-fine-tuned receptor and every single thing is pulling/hitting strings in there, it’s maddening. And wonderful * smiley face *, somehow. Swallows up energy though, but hey, I’m not complaining. I digress...
I think there might be more episodes like these popping up here now and then, which I’ll take up again in the not-yet-even-started novel once I know where to place them. They will probably not make much sense, leave more unsaid than they reveal, and not be at all chronological or consistent with perspective or focalization, but I do like the atmosphere and the mystery of it all. So it looks like we’re finding out where it leads together. This is new for me, I’ve spent my life being rather solitary as a writer, definitely not developing stories out in the open like this.
Short stories aren’t meant to give everything away in the first place, are they? So I think I’ll leave you lot guessing, and myself as well. That will keep it interesting, don’t you think? I think I’ve nailed the right kind of tone though.
You know the drill: I’ll be happy receiving any kind of remarks, suggestions or other kinds of feedback in the comment-section.
And one more practical thing: I kinda came up with this on the spot (yes, I should be studying, but I was doing this instead, not that I could’ve stopped it; it’s a bit like a dam with a hole in it at flood, I have no control whatsoever), so it’s not a scheduled post just yet. Since I’m going to be abroad next week, the next posts (except perhaps the last of this week, I might get that one on here manually) will be scheduled ones. Don’t be alarmed if I don’t respond to comments, I will when I get back.
All best wishes,
Stories Inc.


  1. I would suggest you find a short story by Conrad Aiken (American, early -mid twentieth century), entitled Silent Snow, Secret Snow. It is the story of the mental illness of a lonely child. I really don't want to tell you more than that that except that it is an incredible and atmospheric story that exemplifies what you are trying to achieve.

  2. Hi Drachma,

    thanks for commenting. I'll do that, it sounds very interesting. I have The Norton Anthology of American Literature, with any luck the story will be included. If not, I'll move heaven and earth to locate it ;).


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