Here is the next installment for my novel in progress. The chapter is called “by moonlight” and this excerpt is the second half of it.
Again, keep in mind that it is a first draft [spew on the page], and also not complete. This particular piece is a few chapters down from the last piece that I posted. My plan is to post small pieces till the rough draft is complete. I hope that you enjoy the pieces that I put up, they are meant to give you a bit of insight into the story itself, and the characters.
-we are about two thirds of the way through the first book, in a three book series entitled “lightbearers” 🙂
Discussion at the table was pretty much what Akira had expected. More questions about why she was on the side of the mountain in the first place, and about the decree of the council concerning her whereabouts at all times.
“By the way,” her father asked. “Where did you go today after the council meeting? I looked for you.” Her father sat staring at her intently. She felt his knowing eyes boring into her.
Akira didn’t want to lie to him again, so she simply said, “I was with Mairwen. She was concerned about what happened, and wanted to hear the story.
“Of course she did. Talk has already begun about the stairway that you found. I’m sure she wanted to hear all about it first hand.” He smiled then, seemingly satisfied with her story. She spent most of her days with Mairwen, so he wouldn’t question its validity. The small pang in her heart bothered her. Even though this was truth, it wasn’t all of it. But if her father was part of the problem in Marmaron, she didn’t want to alert him to any of the plans she and Mairwen had made with Fionn.
He continued conversationally in between bites, “They were out there within the hour, breaking down the boulders surrounding the opening of the stairway in order to fill it in. No one will be using it again. Not soon anyway,” he added, then looked up at me for a reaction. None. Satisfied, he continued. “Why anyone would want to go out there in the first place, I cannot fathom. What were you thinking Akira?”
He sat waiting for her to answer, and when she didn’t he raised an eyebrow in question.
“Oh, did you want me to answer that? I thought it was rhetorical.” She left it at that, returning her gaze to the food on her plate, picking through it as though it were an interesting creature to be observed instead of consumed.
“Well, let’s not have anymore trouble. This was enough excitement for all involved.” Her father looked tired, and totally done with this situation. They all sat, quiet.
Akira’s mother, uncomfortable with the awkward silence, changed the subject to what had happened at the infirmary that day. One of the travelers that recently returned, was having an especially difficult time healing. It had been several days, and he was still unconscious. Speculation was that he had encountered a particularly difficult strain of sickness that his body was not equipped to handle, and the healers were not able to eradicate. This was a huge concern, for it was not common that the healers were so ineffective, and encountering something lethal like this put everyone at risk.
“If we are unable to revive him,” she continued, “steps may be taken to suspend all traveling indefinitely – until we can figure out what is going on.”
This proclamation hit Akira in the gut. This is what Fionn had feared, what the prophecy had foretold. If the people walked away from their purpose, they would all reap the consequences. She couldn’t let this happen. Someone was going to have to set them straight. Stand up and fight for what was right. She stopped chewing then, put her fork down and sat up, looking straight into their eyes. “Isn’t that what they are supposed to do though?” she asked carefully. “Their choice to travel and bring hope doesn’t have anything to do with their own safety, does it?” “I thought that it was understood to be a dangerous calling, but one that was necessary.”
Akira sat with her hands in her lap, fidgeting with her clothing. She knew that questioning the council’s choices was equal to treason, but she could not stop the words from coming. Surely her father would allow her that; questions.
Both of her parents stopped eating then and looked at each other with fearful gazes. Her mother pressed her lips thin, and diverted her eyes. An unspoken conversation had taken place, and Akira wondered which side of the line each of them lie. Her father spoke first.
“Akira,” he said gently. “You are correct, theoretically. It’s all great to say that you would give your life for another. Like your grandmother did,” he added. He paused here, remembering his mother, and sadness reached up and touched his face. Blinking it away, he continued.
“But when you begin to see the effects on those doing the giving, especially when it is someone that you love, you begin to see things differently. You become possessive of their presence in your life, and it is difficult to give that up. Is another’s life more important than the one who is giving theirs up? It is a question that we have all had to ask at one time or another. Most people will willingly give their lives for someone they love, but for someone who doesn’t deserve that sacrifice? It becomes a little more complicated. The end does not seem to justify the means.” There was hurt in his words, and remembering. Akira wondered if he held anger toward the boy whom had been the subject of his mothers sacrifice.
And his words seemed like wisdom to her ears, but her heart was screaming foul. If not us – for them, then who. Who would they have to show them hope and light and life? How would they ever leave the despair of their circumstance behind? She understood his ache for a loved one, she ached for her grandmother everyday, but it did not justify a decision that would pervert their lives and lead them away from obedience to the Creator.
No. Someone was going to have to put a stop to this. If it meant her banishment, then so be it. But for now, she needed to arm herself with more information, learn and fill in the gaps that were missing. She needed a crash course in how to use her gifts, and retrieving the scroll seemed to be the place to start.
Akira excused herself from the table. She was worn from the day and was badly in need of rest. Both her body and her mind seemed to be reeling from all that had happened, and it was screaming for sleep. As Akira lay on her cot, her mind would not rest.
Her eyes were closed when her mother checked on her, then shut the door again, but Akira was more awake than she had ever been before.
A strength was rallying inside of her that she could not squelch. She didn’t want to. And as the moon rose in the night sky and its light illuminated her room, she rose and walked to the window. She looked briefly back at the closed door, and hoped that her parents would someday understand what she knew she had to do. Then grabbing her pack and swinging it across her shoulders, she climbed out of the window and into the moonlit night.