Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Possible opening to a story...

As a child, I was taught many things. I was taught how to snatch food quickly at the dinner table. I was taught how to sharpen a blade. I was taught how to fight in the streets, how to crush a kid's face under my boot, how to struggle and struggle no matter how badly I was beaten; how to kick and shove and bite until they let me go. I learned how to swim when my Mam threw me in the river and left me for dead. I learned how to hide on the tall banks on the opposite shore of the city streets, where the orphans ran wild in the woods, and untamed magic welled up in tide pools and left the residue of visions in my sleep. I learned to read the eyes of the city people, how to know when they took pity on me and how to leave when I was unwanted.

But more than that, more than the backstreets and the ways of beggars, I learned the laws of the woodland. I learned how to sleep under a restless moon. I learned to breathe the rich night air and tell of storms to come. And I learned the greatest rule of all – never, ever to love.

* * *
When I was sixteen, I knew I was a sage. The tainted woodland magic had seeped into me, as it does to all people who live outside of the cities. Many die from it, and some are crippled, and yet others transform in terrible ways until they are no longer human. When my mother threw me to the river as a girl, I thought that I would be killed by the wild magic; yet the magic saw my heart and knew that I could not love, and so bestowed its favor upon me.

On the day of the king's coronation, I saw the crystal clear reflection of his bloodied face in the river, and again in a puddle of rain water, and I knew that war was to come. Although I had not been in the city for years, I infiltrated its colorful streets and vibrant banners, cloaked in tawny brown, and I hid in the overhang of buildings as the ceremony unfolded. What I had seen did not come to pass, and I returned to the woodlands in disappointment, thinking it was madness that had consumed me and not the gift of Sight.

It would be years before word spread of the king's murder, beheaded in a tragic accident, and his brother took the throne. And it would be many years indeed before the winds turned, the sky fell dark, and I saw a legion of ten thousand soldiers marching across the night sky. Another vision, and our kingdom was doomed. Destruction was to come to our beautiful citadel, a haven against the acres of ancient woodland and impure magic. Yet I felt no pity, no shred of remorse, for I was a child of the deep woods and this magic was now my homeland. I was tainted by the wilderness, a lost urchin to the history of our people. I was a nomad, a servant to the savage trees, and I would never love that city.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Interesting and spellbinding Opening...makes me hunger for more....Please continue :)