Sparks and Flames

Lady Andromeda

Excuse any weird tense mishaps, this is my third time revising and I changed tenses in the process but every time I revise it I still seem to find more. Le sigh. Oh well it's all a part of the process!


Prologue

The castle is all but a hollow shell of what used to be a great empire. A sad reminder of the glory days before it all came tumbling down on that fateful day. Glasses remain knocked over; blood spilt still stains the carpets. A deep, boisterous laugh echoes in the corridors, full of malice and arrogance.

The laugh comes from a man happily drinking his fill, celebrating what he has accomplished. In clumsy steps he makes his way over to the throne, which he so forcefully usurped. Tomorrow his men will arrive and begin the process of removing any traces of the old regime and replacing it with his own personal touch.

"Oh dear brother," the man said to the only remaining picture of the old king, "How did it come to this? He snorted into his drink. "That's right. I'm brilliant."

The painting only looked on with thoughtful eyes fashioned on a tired face. The new kings brow creased severely, his jaw clenched. In one swift movement he took his sword to the painting, slashing it down the middle.

"Time for a new day."

-0-

It is a sad day in the kingdom. In the village of Krell, at the far ends of the world every door is locked, every light is out. A steady drizzle has soaked the village, giving every one more reason to stay indoors.

A young girl draws her cloak tighter to her body, concealing her baby boy beneath her. She strokes his head with her thumb, praying to the gods it will keep him calm. She tries to keep from shivering, but a cold wind has begun to pick up, firing rain like bullets.

The old shipyard is her destination. She knows her son will only find unhappiness here, and he deserves a better life then this. Her heart is heavy in her chest. She wishes it would just stop beating so she could stop feeling. This decision was killing her.

The old captain paced back and forth, waiting for the girl. His wife has wanted a child since the time they were young, but the sea is his mistress, not wanting anything or anyone to get in the way of their affair. Perhaps this will finally make her happy.

He stopped abruptly when he saw the girl approach. A river of tears and rain run like torrents down her long face. She reveals the boy to him, wide-awake but unaware of what was happening to him. He could not be older than a newborn.

"His name is Christian." She said choking on sobs. Quickly she handed the boy to the captain well before he was ready. The boy looked up at him with eyes that shine even in the dark, curious and innocent.

The captain isn't much for words. He doesn't use them unless he has to, and in this instance he feels it necessary. "We will take good care of him."

The girl squeezed her eyes shut, allowing more tears to flow freely. It's for the best, she knew, but the best for him is breaking her heart. "Give my best to your wife Samuel."

He nods once and in an instant the girl runs away, not daring to look back on the one thing she had loved the most in her entire life. Samuel looked down at the boy, whose eyes shined like stars, and wonders what he has gotten himself into.

-0-

On the other side of the world a girl is being born into one of the harshest environments. They know not of the mourning that is going on for the loss of the old ways and the fear for what is ahead. Instead the fireplace is roaring, trying to keep the tiring mother warm, while she tries to deliver her daughter into the cold of fall. The servant women cruelly gossip among themselves, taking bets on the sex of the newborn and whether the mother will survive.

She tires, but she is much stronger than her cohorts give her credit for. Her midwife pats her brow with a cool cloth and a stern face.

"How much longer is this going to take?" The laundry maid whispered to the kitchen cleaner. "It is nearly dawn."

Suddenly a cry fills the room, grabbing everyone's attention. Every set of eyes tries to get a glimpse at the girl who took so long to come. The mother relaxes taking deep breaths as she waits patiently to hold her daughter.

"She is lovely dear." A voice said.

"Indeed," Another agrees.

"What are you going to name her?"

The question hangs in the air, poised with possibility. The mother cradles the girl in her arms while she ponders the question.

"Arwen," She said finally, "Yes, Arwen."