Chapter 1- The Outsider
Where… am I?
I was shrouded in darkness—thick, crisp darkness.
Where was I underneath all these beautiful layers of darkness?
I could barely tell whether my eyes were open or not. My sight was of no use to me here; this world had immersed me wholly and completely into itself, with no way to escape it. I reached my arms out around me in all directions, but there was nothing to feel. It was just… nothing.
Where was I?
Then, suddenly, a strange sensation hit me. My heart raced fearfully in my chest, and adrenaline coursed through my veins without cessation. There was a strong gust of wind blowing up at the soles of my feet.
Wait, what? How was that even possible? Was there was nothing at my feet? And the wind…
I was falling.
My long locks were whisked far above my head as I clutched my hands to my chest and pressed each of my limbs against its counterpart. This time, I could tell my eyes were shut, because I was forcibly squeezing my lids down to somehow protect myself.
I was scared of falling.
I could hardly stand it; I felt like my aching chest was going to explode with fear. I swallowed the thick lump clustering in my throat and trembled for my life as tears threatened to spill. Please, just let it stop!
And then, it did. Suddenly, my feet were on solid ground, and there were no distinguishable bouts of pain in any part of my body. The falling stopped! The Gods listened to me! They heard my prayers!
I finally relaxed the pressure on my eyelids and loosened the tension in my extremities, still feeling around for some indication of my location. After a brief moment, I daringly cracked my eyes open, just to see where I was, and now…
There was light.
I awoke in a daze, buried in consoling warmth from the tips of my toes to the base of my chin. As my eyes fluttered open, glazed over with tears, I sat up and rested my back against a tall wooden headboard. I was lying in a bed, but as I rubbed my eyes and looked round, I realized this was not my room. I immediately pulled the white comforter up to my chest and dug my quivering fingers into the silky fabric.
"W-Where… am I?" I whispered shakily.
I immediately jumped at the sound of the rough, husky voice addressing me.
"H-Huh?" I asked, scanning the room for the source. I discovered the pale blue color of the walls, a rustic auburn dresser and matching vanity, a small, white door I presumed was a closet, and even a long, tan chest at the foot of the bed, but I couldn't find a single person other than myself in the room! Where did that voice come from? My hands trembled.
Finally, from behind the open front door, a man with short, jet black hair and dark, sapphire eyes emerged, his frame long and lean, yet still quite muscular, and his countenance refined, yet… smug.
"You're boring. All you outsiders ask where you are the moment you wake up. Why don't you say something different for once?"
"Again, the typical response," he responded, chuckling and then rolling his eyes casually—he obviously did this often.
I lost the words I wanted to say and instead pulled the comforter higher on my chest for security. What did this guy want with me?
"Well, I'll tell you where you aren't—at home."
I rolled my eyes. No, of course I hadn't figured that out yet.
"Then where am I?" I finally questioned.
"That's not important. All you need to know is what I tell you."
Suddenly, he slammed the door shut with his open palm and startled me into silence, smirking as he stepped menacingly towards me. I backed towards the farther end of the bed and looked up at him when he stopped, waiting patiently for him to speak. He touched his hand to his large black top hat and readjusted it on his head, then ruffling out the jacket of his crisp, black suit. I repressed my impending chuckle. Who seriously wore a top hat in this day and age?
"The Queen wants your help," he stated quickly. His timing was impeccable, as though he were purposely interrupting my sardonic thoughts of him.
Maybe the question wasn't where, but when? What country still has an active queen that actually makes decisions? And a man who wears a top hat? Hm. Maybe it was normal here?
"Yes, don't make me repeat myself. You'll find I don't enjoy it." He took a deep sigh in between, like he was already exasperated with me. "I'll explain more when the meeting is called. You'll be informed of everything there. In the meantime, though, you can't leave this place."
"What? Wait, why not? I want to go—"
Suddenly, the man ejected a mahogany blackthorn cane from its strap attached to his waist and pointed the flat end directly at the bridge of my nose. I couldn't help but notice the beautiful handiwork all along the specimen; there were swirls of spectacular, protruding black wood encircling the cane from bottom to top and a handle curved and shaped like a magnificent bald eagle's beak. But that still didn't halt my looming anger.
"Don't question me," he hissed sharply as he jabbed his cane into my forehead, "Or you'll regret it."
He continued pressing my head back with the cane until he could clearly see my narrowed eyes; they were evidently burning with rage, because he soon began chuckling as he lifted the cane from my face.
Was the bastard laughing at me?
Damn, I wish I could've shoved that cane right up his—
"Oh, you're angry now?" he sang in that delightfully condescending tune.
"Is this funny to you?" I growled at him.
"No, I don't find things funny. I find them to be amusing or intriguing, but never funny." A scoff broke into his small rant, like I'd suggested something completely outrageous. "You really are an outsider, aren't you?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" I questioned, furrowing my brows slightly.
With a devious smirk on his lips, he tapped the top of my head with his blasted cane and gracefully swiveled his feet, heading towards the front door and barely stopping for the sound of my voice.
"W-Wait. Tell me something."
"W-What's going to happen to me here?" I managed to stammer out, my eyes clenched tightly shut. God, I didn't want to sound weak in front of this guy, but I was honestly concerned for my own wellbeing! This Queen might want something sick from me, or this guy might take advantage of my distracted state.
"You'll find out soon enough, so stop asking." He laid his hand on the golden doorknob and managed to crack the door open before my big mouth stopped him once again.
"W-Wait! D-Did you…"
"What?" He threw his head over his shoulder, scanned the look of fear on my face, and then continued in absolute revulsion, "Did I touch you?"
"W-Well… Y-You were already in the room when I woke up—"
"Shut up. Don't suggest that again. It's disgusting."
After a scoff of disbelief and a roll of his eyes, he slammed the door shut behind him. I nestled further into the covers and glanced down at my crinkled clothing. It was the same cerulean dress I usually wore, tied by the same white apron I usually had, buttoned up to the same level it usually was. I grumbled. It all seemed to be in order, save for the creases I accumulated from my haphazard sleep patterns. Had I wrongly accused him? But hell, he was still a jerk—a stupid, top hat jerk. I sighed.
I could only imagine what was in store for me now.
Credit for the picture goes to Kawaii-Ichigo Photos (I believe). And thanks to mah beta, Serapheana. :) I hope you all enjoyed this first chapter! Please read and review! I might update this story based on reviews... So if you want more, please speak up. :) Thank you! BTW, if you can figure out the inspiration for this based purely on the writing, I'll... give you a cookie. :D