Well, this is the first chapter of my novel. It's written in scrolls because it fits better in the world I made up than a chapter does, picture reading this from the typical Japanese scrolls used in the old times.
By the way, the novel has no title yet.
Scroll One: The Birthday Party
I'll go back around 800 years ago, when the prophesy written by my ancestors was accomplished, I was born. The prophesy said that when a purple-eyed female was born, my village would be saved from the claws of darkness, that had been consuming my world little by little. My mom had a hard time giving birth to me, but when I finally gave my first breath, she instantly healed. No one knows why, its one of the mysteries of my powers, but all the persons that were watching this paid more attention to my sparkly purple eyes, rather than my healed mother.
My father decided to hide my destiny from me until I was old enough to understand the future of the earth was lying in my hands. He, as the elder of the village told the villagers never to tell the legends again, everything that had to do with the prophesy vanished, and with the years the prophesy was nothing but a myth that many had forgotten, my father and mother never did, they always kept an eye on me, so I would not find out about it until I was sixteen.
I grew up like any normal child; everyone liked my purple eyes and PURPLE hair, in the beginning, many were scared by my ability to read their minds, as well as the fact that I could talk to animals.
But this was normal, the adults said. “There are many people that are born with these sorts of powers, many have had their own explanations but no one knows for certain.” They said, so after a while everyone got used to it, including me.
“Sheena, wake up sis, happy birthday!” Liz yelled. I lazily opened my eyes and squinted at the light. Elizabeth, my twenty-four year old sister was sitting on my bed. I smiled as I remembered what day it was, twelfth of March, today I was turning sixteen. After giving me a painful hug, Liz ran around the room, rambling on about my birthday party and how she had organized a lot and stuff like that. I sat up in my bed and looked around in my room. It was very pretty, under all the mess that two sisters who know nothing about cleaning could create. It was dimly lit, but the sun filtered slightly through the closed curtains. Everything was made of different types of wood, and it was filled with small and big chests overflowing with clothes, books, accessories, etc. I have to admit it was a very big closet, but we couldn’t keep it tidy and half of the clothes always lay on the floor.
There were many of Liz’s drawings hanging on the walls, mostly pictures of us together, which she drew without us having to model. There was also a big desk filled with Liz’s drawings, papers where I took notes in class, my books and notebooks, quills, ink blobs and dirty ink pots, etc.
“I’m going downstairs, just wait here for a sec, we’re almost done okay?” She said, and with that she disappeared. I sat up on my bed and smiled lightly, as I replayed the previous days’ events on my head; it had been all about my party. I was sick of it really; it wasn’t that big of a deal for me but Flor –my best friend-, Liz and my mother were so exited the birthday could’ve been theirs instead of mine.
I rubbed my eyes and stretched lazily. “It’s early” I thought, slowly sitting up on my bed. I could hear a bird singing, not any bird but the distinct call of the Woodpecker that, despite everything I did to keep it away from my window, kept singing from eight to eight thirty every morning.
“I’ll kill them” I said out loud, I usually say my thoughts out loud for some reason, which never failed to get me in trouble. I am and always have been an irritable person. “Don’t worry guys, she’s reactive.” Flor had put it like this the first time I met her friends, I laughed, but they stared at me, scared out of their guts.
Sitting up on my bed and replaying all my dreams had become a routine, since most of my dreams came true. This morning was filled with daily premonitions, Flor coming over, my birthday party, etc. There was something that bothered me though, one specific image, or scene. First was the faint smell of hazelnut, followed by the slight feeling of entrapment. Finally, a cultured breathy voice strained with pain. “Please stay here” My captor said sweetly, I could barely make out where I was, but the sight of a tree told me I was on the big forest that surrounded my village.
And then everything faded. I spent a few minutes pondering about this vision, but like many others, I could only wait and see what it was about. This one was a bit different though, I was curious about everything the premonition contained. I hopped out of bed with the smell of hazelnut lingering on the back of my mind.
I was a bit mad at everyone for waking me up early on one of my precious out-of-class days. I stormed out of my room and stopped on my tracks when I walked past a family picture Liz had drawn, one of her best actually, all of us were waving from a huge tree in the middle of the forest. The picture quelled my anger, and I was surprised to find a hint of sadness in me.
I grunted and shook my head, denying any sadness that might have been there. I turned left to stop by the bathroom and slowly opened the door.
If our room was a disaster, our bathroom was a victim of the spirits’ wrath. The combination of hairballs, towels, hairpins, clothes, accessories, gooey vials filled with colorful extracts of plants to make our hair shinier, less greasy, etc. Made the 5 x 5mt bathroom look like what remained from the war between the chaos isles versus the Fire Continent.
I washed my face, staring at myself in the mirror.
“If Flor could see me now” I rolled my eyes and chuckled, imagining all the things my best friend could have to say about my morning image. From between a small mountain of clothes I pulled a towel to dry my face, I did so quickly and then threw the towel back in the pile of clothes. Tying my hair back into a ponytail and brushing the messy fringe out of my eyes, I took the stairs down two at a time.
I opened the door to the kitchen and was jumped at by my family, they yelled happy birthday and shot clumsily wrapped gifts at me.
I opened them over breakfast, carefully examining each. Liz gave me one of her favorite pendants. Since I’d lost my own, it was of her design actually; it consisted of a silver wolf footprint. I slipped it to a black leather string and tied it around my neck. Next was my mother’s, who gave me a very weird coat, or robe or dress that was open in the front.
Whichever it was, I found it pretty. It was light purple, and went down to my knees. The sleeves were big, short and folded backwards on the end, and since the inner part of the robe was white, the ends of the sleeves were of the same color.
I folded the garment and left it on a chair, promising to try it on later. My father, who had remained in the same position –Leaning on his right hand with a nonchalant attitude- handed me a black backpack filled with traveler items, such as detailed map of the ten continents, a compass, an odd-looking horn and a small dagger.
I raised my eyebrows and looked at him, a bit disturbed and confused by my present. Don’t get me wrong I loved it, but still… it was odd.
“Are we… Going somewhere?” I asked curiously. My mom opened her eyes widely and looked at my father, who was looking out the window, completely oblivious of the situation, and then at Liz, who was quite alarmed. She stood up and started pulling me by the arm.
“Of course you are, you’re going to take a shower, Flor will be right over.” My sister said, pushing me up the stairs and into the bathroom before I even had time to try and read their minds to see what was going on.
“Liz- I- What the hell is going on here?” I asked, but she closed the bathroom door and was gone without an answer. I stared at the mirror and frowned, losing myself in thought.
“Maybe it’s just a joke” I concluded, taking my clothes off and untying my hair. “That’s probably it, or maybe we are actually travelling somewhere and I discovered it” I said to myself and hopped into the shower.
I kept saying things like that throughout the entire shower, until someone knocked on the door. “Hey Sheen hurry up I’m bored!” Flor said, and chuckled. I smiled and rinsed my hair quickly.
“Okay, okay” I turned the shower off and quickly dried myself with a towel. “Bored” I repeated as I slipped into a pair of white tights and a long aqua shirt I pulled from under a mountain of clothes.
“Hey Flor, is it cold outside?” I opened the bathroom door and was attacked by my friend. She had red, phased straight hair that reached the back of her neck. She always kept a moss green beret over it, which matched with her slightly baggy pants that went down to her knees. Her pockets were filled with the most random things, which were always useful for some reason. She normally wore a short sleeve shirt with horizontal, red stripes and a “V” neck that revealed a bit more than she’d like, which is why she wore a yellow shirt under it. She was addicted to clothes, but she rarely changed her outfit since she spent her time focused on other people’s clothes. She didn’t wear the same clothes though; she had the same shirts and pants repeated like four times.
Not that I saw any of her, since she had tied something around my eyes. I felt around unconsciously, to avoid crashing into anything. “What is this?” I frowned and clenched my fist.
“Hey, you’re not gonna punch me are you? It’s a surprise, just calm down you animal” Flor said, directing me towards somewhere, possibly my room. I fought the urge of reading her mind to find out, this was simple since Flor was very strict about me reading her mind, and I had a lot of practice.
“Please tell me you didn’t just pick those clothes from in there” Flor said, disgusted. She hated anything that was messy, but she had a special hating place in her heart for my bathroom
“Hey, show a little respect, midget” I teased, stretching my hands out to stop myself from crashing into something. Flor was very short, though she’d never let anyone call her so.
“I’m going to throw you down the stairs if you don’t shut it” My friend stopped walking and pulled my shirt so I would too. “Happy birthday!” She untied the fuchsia shawl and stuffed it in one of her pockets. I squinted at the light coming from the window and walked into my room.
One could tell Flor had been in my room because the second she stepped in she started to compulsively tidy it. She wouldn’t stop until the room was spotless, which normally took a lot of time. She had put all the papers that were scrambled across the floor in a pile over a table, put all the ink pots and quills in a drawer and put all the clothes back into the closet. This was not what called my attention, it was the two pairs of gloves and the black and light purple boots displayed neatly across the floor. My face switched from confusion to anger and finally to surprise.
Everything was so beautiful, I didn’t notice until later how odd it was that they matched with the coat my mother had given me. The boots had black soles with patterns engraved in them; they were starting to put these into all shoes lately, it was supposed to help you walk in rocky places. They reached halfway up my leg and had no lacing; they were made of a synthetic type of light-purple chamois on the outside, since it had no lacing it was smooth all around the boot, it had absolutely no sewing, only a vertical one on the back of the boot, and they ended on a round tip. You put them on by simply slipping your feet into them, they fit perfectly.
The two pairs of gloves were combinable. One pair was black, and made of cotton and elastics, that way when you put them on they shaped to your hand, this pair was to warm your hands.
The other pair was made of purple leather; they didn’t enclose the fingers but left the two final segments free. These were usually worn by workers, to protect their hands.
After closely examining the garments, which were very modern by the way, I turned to Flor, beaming.
“Do you like them?” She asked, leaning against the frame of the door and spinning her beret on one hand.
“I love them!” I said, standing up and hugging her. “I need to ask, why all the travel gear?” I inquired, already sitting on my bed and trying out the boots. They were so comfortable it seemed surreal.
“No idea, your mom just told me to get you something useful to travel.” She really didn’t know, I unconsciously took a peek on her head and found nothing. She punched me on the arm and scowled at me. “Don’t do that, I would never lie to you” She said, lowering her head.
“Sorry, I’m just too curious” I found the black backpack and the coat on the back of Liz’s chair. I showed the contents of the backpack to Flor, she squinted and examined them carefully, trying to figure out why they had given me this. Next was the coat, which she probed with her expert eye for fashion.
“Travelling, it’ll protect you from the sun and the cold. Plus it won’t suffocate you if it’s too hot.” She concluded, but then she caught eye of something else and she immersed herself into the coat, comparing different parts of it. I watched her curiously as she creased her brow and smiled, marvelled.
“Sheena, there’s stitching.” She exclaimed, ruffling in her pockets until she pulled out a small magnifying glass. She put it over seven different spots, but then she found more subtle ones and immersed herself again.
It turns out the coat had been stitched over more than a hundred times, there were small stitches that were barely noticeable, and some big ones, Flor deduced the previous owner of the garment had been attacked several times by different creatures. Don’t ask me, I have no idea how she came to that conclusion.
The hairs on the back of my head stood up, and a chill crept down my spine. I did not have a good feeling about any of this.
After examining the coat, Flor scolded me for wearing the clothes I found on the bathroom and pulled out a pink, long shirt and black pants.
The rest of the day was a blur of guests, gifts, cake, cards, greetings, “Happy Birthday’s”, small talk and more odd hints of the big secret my family was hiding from me.
Despite my repeated attempts to read my family’s mind when they appeared not to be shielding, they didn’t drop their defences throughout the day.
When night came, everybody from the village came to my house and we had a party, a bunch of friends played MUSIC while we danced and talked, I danced so much my legs hurt.
Flor left when dawn was breaking, between everything that had happened, I didn’t get the chance to tell her about the premonition of the hazelnut guy.
I dropped myself on the bed; my hair had absorbed the smell of pipe smoke and now all I could smell was that. I curled up under the blankets, not even bothering to take my stinky clothes off.
“Scoot over” Liz said, slipping inside my bed. I wiggled sideways to make space for her; I was so tired I drifted to sleep without making a single comment on anything, which would have been the case.