Hey look I remember my login info! I know I've been gone for a LONG time, I decided to take a break from writing for awhile. But now I am back and ready to tell you my new story, A Violet's Ashes! So, before you begin the story of Aeliana's life, I want to go through a few things.
A. TRIGGER WARNING FOR ABUSE. In all forms, sexual, emotional, and physical. She's a concubine guys, these aren't themes I can just gloss over, they are important to the story. If these things disturb you, then please please please don't continue.
B. Sex scenes exist. Again, she's a CONCUBINE. There won't be too many, because otherwise I find that it just gets annoying and tiresome, but it will occur. Often. You'll understand what I mean as the story goes on.
C. I don't know how often I will update, as I tend to get busy. But I am very excited for this story, and I have multiple ideas for it that drive me to continue, but please, be patient. If any of you follow me on FanFiction (this websites sister site) you are probably laughing maniacally at the idea of me updating swiftly. I promise I'll update as frequently as I can, but please, patience.
D. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW! It helps so much! For two reasons, one is that it invokes a feeling of 'Hey people actually read this story! AND THEY LIKED IT?! WHAT?!' Which encourages me to write more, because the peer pressure of leaving you guys without the ending gets to me. Reason number two is that I LOVE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM AND FAN THEORIES! Seriously, tell me what you think of the story, areas to improve, and what you think is going to happen! Share the happiness! (Writer enjoys writing story. Reader enjoys reading story. Reader tells Writer they enjoy the story. Writer is happy that Reader is happy and decides to write more. The cycle repeats.)
May I present, A Violet's Ashes!
A girl with dark black hair lay on the ground of a forest, her head resting against the roots of tree. Her eyes, normally open and shining vibrantly, were gently closed, her eyelashes curled against her cheeks. She was asleep. And a peaceful sleep it was, but like everything, peace can never last.
"Aeliana!" A voice called out the girl's name, causing her violet eyes to blink open blearily. She rose slowly, and stretched her stiff muscles. She ran her hands through her hair, pulling the leaves and dirt out of the raven locks. She turned toward the direction of the voice that had shouted at her, and saw her elder brother, Rolan, waving her over. Standing next to him was her younger brother, Dulen. Rolan was three years older than her, at age twenty, and Dulen was five years younger, at age twelve. The three looked very similar, most of the children had taken after their mother. They all had her dark hair, beautiful features, and clear skin. The boys had all taken to their father's blue eyes. Aeliana, however, was the only one she had ever met in their tiny village with violet eyes.
"Come on, we have to keep up with the herd!" Dulen shouted, gesturing to their sheep that were making their way back to their home. Aeliana sighed and ran after them.
"Serves you right, sleeping the day away." Rolan teased her, pulling a stray leaf from her hair that she had missed. She ducked away from his hand and stuck her tongue out at him.
"Come on, the both of you." Dulen laughed. He glanced at them, mischief gleaming in his eyes. "I'll bet I can make it home first."
"Oh? Is that a challenge then?" Aeliana replied with a wicked grin. Without warning she took off tearing down the hillside, Dulen on her heels, calling out protests of how she had cheated by getting a head start.
Rolan decided to stay behind, keeping the herd moving, but smiling as his siblings scrambled down the mountain. He glanced up at the sun, filtering its way through the trees, its' color a dark orange, signaling that evening was upon them and that darkness would soon settle in.
He nudged the sheep nearest to him, and it began trotting faster, the rest following at the same brisk pace. By the time they made it down the mountain, Aeliana and Dulen were already there, holding the gate to the sheep's pen open, huffing and puffing deep breaths.
"Not…fair…" Aeliana gasped. "This…stupid…dress…"
"You lost…fair and square." Dulen replied.
"He's right you know." Rolan called to them. "You got a head start Aeliana, and he still beat you. Besides, he has shorter legs than you."
"Oh shut up." Aeliana snapped good-naturedly. Both Dulen and Rolan cracked up.
"What's so funny?" A new voice called to them. Coming out of their small shack of a house was the three youngest of the family, Basila, Nahalda, and little Cairina. Basila was holding Cairina's hand, making sure she didn't fall on the uneven ground. Basila was much like her elder sister, Aeliana, when it came to beauty. Both were exceptionally fair, but, because of Aeliana's age, she tended to stand out more. Basila was ten years old, and had silky dark brown hair like her father's, and large green eyes like her mother. She and her other sisters spent their time at home with their mother, tending to the sheep that had to remain behind because they were pregnant or in need of getting sheared. What little wool they collected from the small herd was sold in town to make ends meet.
Nahalda was the one that had called out to them. She was eight years old, and she also held her father's brown hair, but her eyes were brown. Their mother, Marciana, said that it was from their grandmother, but none of them had ever met their grandparents. They had both died when their mother was just a teenager. Marciana had married shortly after their deaths, and her five other siblings had all left the village in hopes of finding a better life elsewhere. She hadn't seen any of her siblings since she was fifteen, since her wedding day.
As such, none of her children had met their extended family, and in truth didn't even know where they were. If Marciana had known, then she might have reached out to them after the passing of her husband, and the massive struggles they held now that he was gone. Her husband hadn't even gotten to know their last child, Cairina. He had died when she was just a year old.
She was five now, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her. She still held much of her baby face, which was round and chubby, though they all knew that she would soon lose all of it. None of them had any fat on them, what with how many there were in the family and how little money they had, it made food scarce. Cairina's eyes were a bright blue, and her hair was as black as they came, and her short stumpy legs often got her into trouble. She was forever tumbling or falling or tripping, and as such her little knees were covered with all sorts of bruises and scrapes. It also meant that someone had to constantly hold her hand until she could figure out how to walk without tripping over her own feet.
This was the case now, as the three girls made their way over to their elder siblings, with Basila firmly clutching Cairina's hand in hers. "What's so funny?" Nahalda repeated her question, her bright eyes sweeping over them.
"Oh, just Aeliana being a sore loser." Rolan replied, ruffling Aeliana's hair.
"What else is new?" Basila smirked, her eyes glinting with tease.
"Hey!" Aeliana swatted playfully at her, not actually hitting her but getting rather close.
"Oh knock it off." Rolan laughed, and scooped up Cairina in his arms.
"Come on you, I've had enough of those lot." He laughed, and got a giggle from his sister in response. He carried her into the house, asking her what she did today.
"Come on," Aeliana sighed. "We best tell mother we're back."
Once inside the tiny house with two rooms, they found their mother cleaning some bowls with a rag. She didn't dare use water to clean them, it was too precious. There was only one well in the village, and a family had become rich by building their house around it and charging people money to get any water. It was unfair, certainly, but what were they to do? Hardly anyone in the village could pack their family up and leave, but their village leader wasn't going to do much about it either. And it wasn't as if they could go to anyone else, no one cared about a tiny village like Hopeich. Many of the poorer families, much like Aeliana's, had little chance to survive. Most had family members fall ill from malnourishment, as their father had been such a victim. Aeliana had fond memories of her hardworking father, but he was also absent from their home much of the time. In order to feed his wife and seven children, he would often go far in search of work.
Between his wages that he sent to them, the meager trickle of money their mother scrapped from repairing clothes for cheaper than the tailor would charge, they managed to make ends meet.
Now they were making even less money. The eldest of the children, Malich, had taken up an apprenticeship under the village butcher, but his wages were still less than what their father had made. Rolan had been searching desperately for work, but in such a small village, new work was skim, and none of them dared to leave the village to search elsewhere. After their father's passing, none of them wanted to be so far from their village that their body could not be sent home to be properly buried. The cost to bring Marciana's husband home was more than they could afford to spend, and so he had been buried outside some other village, and Aeliana suspected that it hadn't been a proper funeral, because none of the villagers had known him. And the family never got to say goodbye to him.
Marciana looked up as the children trickled their way in. "Ah, you're home. I was just cleaning these for supper." She gestured to a small pot, no bigger than one of the bowls Marciana was cleaning. She dusted off the last one the best she could, and then began to pour the soup, which was more broth than soup, into seven bowls. There was nothing more than a few of spoonful's in each of the bowls. Aeliana began her supper, taking small bites to make the taste last. The soup was nothing more than potatoes boiled in milk, but it would sustain them well enough. As they settled around the splintered worn wooden table to eat their supper, the door opened and Malich marched in, home from his work under the village butcher. He glanced around the table and his family, and then studied the bowls and their contents.
"Potatoes again?" He growled surly. Ever since his apprenticeship at the butcher, he had become sourer, most likely do to his long hours.
He moved to the pot that was still resting on the end of the table. He removed the lid and peered inside. "Great." He muttered. "Really, thank you, for being so generous." He took the rest of the pot's contents, which held barely enough to coat the bottom of the pot.
They ate in silence, for a while, until it was broken by mindless chatter between the three younger girls. Aeliana glanced over at Dulen, who was quietly eating while listening to Basila, who was describing her most recent fight with one of the village boys, most likely in defense of Nahalda.
"Hey Dulen." Aeliana whispered. He turned in her direction. "Catch!" She shouted. She threw one of her potatoes into a high arch. Dulen had quick reflexes, and flung his head forward and opened his mouth wide to catch the flying vegetable. The potato hit his lip, but bounced into his mouth easily. Dulen raised both his hands and face a cry of triumph.
"Aeliana!" Marciana cried. "That is not how a lady behaves!" She scolded, though she was trying to suppress a smile as the three younger girls erupted with a fit of giggles at their siblings' antics.
"Yes, sorry Mother." Aeliana dipped her head with the apology, but shared a secretive smile with Dulen.
After supper, Rolan and Aeliana cleared the table and cleaned the dishes as best as possible before retreating to their bedroom with their other siblings. When they opened the door, Nahalda, Basila, and Cairina we're holding hands and spinning in a circle, illuminated by the candlelight, singing a funny chant they had learned in the village. Dulen was laughing and clapping in beat with their chant, while Malich sat in the corner, his face contorted with annoyance.
"Hey Malich, cheer up or your face is going to stick like that." Rolan joked as he plopped down next to his brother.
"Unlike you, and your freelance days of playing in the woods, some of us actually have to work in the morning." Malich replied.
"Now come on, let them play. Don't you remember when we had that much energy?" Rolan nudged him.
"Do you remember when you pushed me into the mud pit after that huge rainstorm?" Aeliana asked him as she sat across from them.
"I recall that you slipped."
"I did not! You pushed me!" Aeliana protested.
"Whatever." Malich muttered.
Aeliana frowned. Malich had always been a serious person, but now he was just outright grouchy.
Rolan notices it too. "What's eating at you?" He questioned.
"Nothing." Malich snapped.
"It's a girl isn't it?" Aeliana teased.
"I think you're right Aeliana. Definitely a girl." Rolan shared a glance with his sister, a frighteningly similar gleam in their eyes.
"Shut up!" Malich snapped, suddenly menacing. He glared at them, his eyes livid. They settled on Aeliana, studying her for a moment, before he got to his feet. "I have business to take care of." He muttered, and began to walk away.
"So late at night?" Rolan questioned, but Malich didn't reply. He slammed the door behind him.
Rolan sighed. "He's such a spoilsport lately. I hope he comes out of it soon."
"You and me both." Aeliana replied. She glanced over at Dulen, who was looking at the door Malich had left through with a frown.
"Hey." She nudged him. "Don't worry about him okay? He's just being grouchy. He'll get over it." Dulen smiled at her, and Aeliana felt a warmth in her heart. Dulen had always been such a kind boy, a rare thing to be in conditions like these, and Aeliana loved him for it. His constant worry for his siblings made her want to protect him all the fiercer, as if she could keep him from being tainted by the harshness of selfish and cruel people. He wasn't naive, he knew the nature of people. But that was just it. He was still sweet and kind, simply because he wanted to be.
"Come on kiddos." Rolan called. "We've got a big day ahead of us. You'll need your energy. So bundle it all up and save it for tomorrow." He winked at them, and after a few more moments of trying to get the little ones to settle down, the last candle was blown out and at last they closed their eyes to sleep. Aeliana rolled over, and reached out her hand ever so slightly, enough for her fingers to brush Cairina's hair, and a faint smile rested on her face as she drifted away into dreams.