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|The first chapter of Valley of the Fallen Star. It was really fun to write. The characters are fun.||
Valley of the Fallen Star – Chapter One
“Book One” of a larger work (I guess)
In a valley, by a river where the sky was always nighttime lived a girl, with her grandfather. The sky it seemed was never day since a very long time ago, and long before the girl was born. In fact, even her grandfather had never seen the Sun. But instead of the sun, the Valley had the Star. The Star was a powerful radiant source, emerging from deep within in a craggy bush called the enclave. The Star had fallen there many years ago. It was a good thing too, because without the Star, the people who lived in the valley would have become less human, and become sub-human, like shadows.
The Valley was a productive place. There was never want or need for food because the Star kept the earth fertile for food to grow at magical rates. A river provided clean, fresh water, and absorbed the light from the Star a bit so that it too glowed. The people were all artists and farmers and scientists, and they all lived happy, creative lives.
But our story first takes place at 8 Stoney Way, the location of the Stone family residence. That is where Harley Stone lived, and also her grandfather Reginald Harry, and her older brother (by several years) Namrath.
While Harley slept in for the morning after her encounter with the Star, her brother Namrath was out dusting the sidewalks with his magic power to move dust about with his mind. Far away to the East, Mary Liam, a guardian of the Valley, was running through rows of tall grass, out of breath, out of life. Harley turned over in her sleep, seeing that pillow was becoming uncomfortable. Mary Liam sped away from a dark beast, covered in spines, hollowing into the darkness. She was not fast enough. Namrath choked on a gumdrop he was chewing, and brushed off a piece falling ash from his shoulder. Hilgre, Mary’s horse, was close enough to touch. Namrath wondered why there was ash falling from the sky. She leaped into the air. Harley turned over again in her sleep. Mary and Hilgre made for the gap in the pass; maybe she could make it. Her son was there. Namrath saw fire in the sky. Harley turned. Mary saw fire streaking passed her side. Gerad, her son, leapt from the parapet. Namrath ran towards. The dark beast was stopped dead in its tracks.
Fire was falling from the sky. Harley woke with a jump. The ground shook and the street was on fire. Namrath! Harley jumped out of bed and through open the window, she saw that the neighbour’s house across the street was on fire and its roof was caved in.
“Harley!” cried Namrath.
Fire streaked through the sky. Namrath was trapped under a stone. A bolt headed straight for his location. Harley didn’t know what to do, Namrath couldn’t stop fire, and he could only move dust! She missed her mother. She didn’t have a mother.
Grandfather appeared from along the street side where Namrath was. Grandfather flashed his cloak in the wind. He gestured grandly towards the fire coming down and it exploded in a snuff. He pointed towards the fire raging through the neighbour’s home and it ceased immediately.
“What is going on here!” yelled Grandfather, but nobody could answer him. “What is going on here!” he said again, but there was nobody around. Some who were, were dying.
“Grandfather!” Harley yelled. He looked up but hardly batted an eye; at once he was off down the road snuffing the fire that was falling from the sky.
“Namrath!” yelled Harley. Namrath was still stuck under the weight of the stone, “Namrath, I’ll come and save you!”
“What?” said Namrath, as Harley left the window.
Far to the East, Mary Liam and her son, Gerad were riding West towards the valley. There was no escape from the dark beasts. There were too many. He was nearly out of flaming arrows, and their magic and skills grew thin as they grew tired and hungry. It was certain now. The village East had fallen, and its people were all gone or murdered by shadow. What could be the cause? Why has the starlight started to fade? So long long ago, ancient tales told of the dark moonlit sky filled with little pin-prick stars. And when the Sun disappeared and the world was covered in darkness, that the stars had fallen out of the sky and landed in valleys, and crags, and mountains to light up the sky just like the Sun had once.
Gerad’s sweat beaded on his forehead. There was no way to escape. Legends were flooding into his head. Legends were going false. Word must be sent back to the Valley. No time.
“Go forward Gerad, it’s my turn to fight,” called out his mother, “go to the Valley, make it there, tell them what has happened.” She and Hilgre dashed aside. Her daggers flared in the hazy midnight. “This for my son! This for my homeland!” The first beast fell, its ugly black spiked head decapitated from its body.
“Go forward Gerad! Go forward!” were the last words Gerad heard from his mother. He sped through the endless night on Heiress, with the last ringing tones of his mother’s battle cry murmuring through the air.
Harley slammed the door and ran towards her brother, wailing. She dodged the various debris that was scattered from the wreck from across the street and landed jauntily on a landmark hopscotch patch. Where she proceeded to hopscotch, out of habit, but still heading towards her brother.
“Harley,” Namrath cried, “Have you got some kind of lever or stick with you?” He tried to explain the six year old, with a complex array of poorly arranged pantomime. At last however, Harley ended up trying to push the rock, which was nearly as large as she was, off of Namrath’s leg. “Harley, that won’t work,” said Namrath as he screamed in pain. He felt like his leg was already nearly gone all together.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get help!” said Harley, being as cheerful as she could without even sniffling. “Grandfather can help!”
“No, not grandfather! He’s too far away. Get someone else to help. Find someone else Harley, anybody who’s got a stick. And make sure they have got a stick with them,” Namrath shifted, his foot was going green, “And hurry!”
Harley stood and was startled. She didn’t know what to do. Or who to turn to. There was nobody around. She ran towards the nearest house. She tried the door. Locked. She ran towards the next nearest house. Door. Locked. She went towards the next nearest house. Blown up. Next nearest house. Before long she was houses and houses away from Namrath, she only had a vague idea of the direction she came from.
“Hello!” she called out. Nobody answered. “Hello!” she tried again. This time somebody stirred inside of a house window. A lady Harley didn’t recognize opened the window and called out, “Little girl from the Stone residence, get yourself inside if you know what’s good for you! It’s raining fire from the sky! Light bless us all! Light bless us holy!” And she called out again, telling Harley to scurry back home.
“Ma’am, can you help!” squeaked Harley, “It’s my brother!”
“What?” Harley’s voice could hardly reach the patio, she was so frightened and tired.
“Shh! Get on home, get on home! Shh!” And she closed the window and huddled in the corner of her bedroom thumbing her prayer beads.
Harley headed back for the next house. She couldn’t remember which way she was going, but luckily she headed back towards Namrath because soon on the way she found a bit of help that she desperately needed.
“Eh! It’s Harley Stone! Well, what are yoooou doing out here! It’s a bloody mess around this place!”
Harley backed up to see Alan Able, Namrath’s close friend and mentor. His shirt was ripped, which was usually the case, as Alan was usually getting into trouble or at least, as he liked to say, he was “having woman troubles.”
“Are you crazy you little twat! You’d better get yourself inside some shelter or else you’re gonna get squished like a petal in a rainstorm.”
“Don’t tell me the little guy’s not all right!”
“He’s under a rock. I can’t move it,” said Harley gesturing feverishly.
“Holy bracks, move it pint, we’re off, we’re off! Where is he?” Harley pointed the direction she guessed. “This way?” And they were off. It took them a little while to get back to where there were to go, but soon enough Harley knew well enough just to head home where Namrath was closest.
“Namrath!” screamed Alan, “Namrath! I’ll get you out from under there,” he dashed to find a splinter big enough to heave the rock off of his little buddy’s leg.
Harley meanwhile sat down and coddled Namrath and wiped his face. He was going pale, and his heart rate was all that good. Luckily, Mrs Mallow, a practitioner of healing arts was passing by looking for survivors and injured among the dead. She quickly hurried over to the scene where Namrath was before Alan had made it back with the homemade lever he pulled from the wreck across the street.
“No! No, oh no! Don’t use that on him yet! I think,” Mrs Mallow said, as she cut off quite abruptly. “Alan, come here, there’s something,” she whispered into his ear.
Alan looked shocked. He shrugged off his expression though and put his lever into position. “Okay, I’m ready. Here we go.”
When Alan pushed the rock off of Namrath’s leg, the leg snapped in half and twisted straight around in the socket twice over. Harley fainted at the sight of blood.
Gerad raced towards the valley. His was tired and frightended and her nerves drove him onwards. But the cries of his mother remained in his mind. If not on the air, for they had fallen off the air, they remained in his mind.
|The Death of Acan - 6||The Death of Acan - 5|
|The Death of Acan - 3||The Death of Acan - 1|
|The Death of Acan - 4|