View Full Version : Fantastic Beginning of Julia Flynn Prologue

November 18th, 2011, 02:27 AM
Hi, this is just the rough beginning. I'd love some feedback on it :) Thanks!


Something happened the day the queen died. The earth shifted beneath our feet and the creatures were awakened from their slumber and they stirred. The world changed the day the queen died and we, her subjects, paused to take it in amidst their tears. Dark horns sounded in the hollow belly of the ground and clouds reached out over the sky like fingers of the dead, echoes of a time of mayhem. From the long white beaches on the coast over the sturdy rock cliffs and past the Otherlands, change was coming. The queen was absent from her throne, lost, throwing off the balance that held the Otherlands steady. Her king was lost without her; he didn’t know how to control the power without her guiding hand. Birds of carnage circled around the evil that was closing in.
The queen is dead and we must look to our defenses. The people feel weak as the darkness makes them cold but there is no time for rest now. War has no care for our sufferings. We must look carefully for all the magic we have stored up. We must prove worthy of our gifts. Before the end, we must stand tall and proud, to defend the land we fought so long to build. I shall warn you that seek to become spectators of our struggle that this is not a very easy-going fairy tale. It is not so light and optimistic as that. This story is much more and much less than a fairy-tale because, unfortunately, unicorns, a primary requirement for fairy-tales, do not live in the Otherlands anymore. They’re more up north. Or so I’ve heard.

Chapter One
“The cold staggering race which Death is winning
Steals vein by vein and pulse by pulse away”- Byron

The town where Angela lived is where our story will take place, mostly. It was a very important place for Angela, you know. The streets and woods and water of the town where she used to live are now the background for her daughter’s story. The lives of her neighbors make up the different threads of a sweater that, without the comfort of her sturdy knot, will start to unravel. The town is on the coast. It is a fisherman’s place in a way, though not many people earn their livelihood from the sea anymore. There is still a wharf; people still go down to the docks when the last boat is in to get wholesale deals on the catch of the day. The roads are old, winding, the river grass grows high around the marshes and, in the summers, if they cannot manage to wrangle a more desirable alternative for the day, the kids go clamming and come back with bird crap all over them and smelling of the water. Whatever this town might be, it is not perfect, untouched by change or stuck in a never-ending loop of happy people living happy lives. This place is dirty; it has cracks. That, obviously, is what makes it interesting.
The church in the town was old, it leaked, and was leaking right when we begin our story, at a funeral. The roof was leaking directly on the flower arrangement but, luckily, not directly on the casket. Martin sighed and straightened his tie one more time like it was the reason for the knot in his throat. The church was packed with every old lady the town could possibly produce. Angie’s friends were there too and all the nurses from the hospital. Helen kept crying. Was that all she did? Just because she was Angie’s mother didn’t mean she could just go around blubbering like an infant. Julia was the opposite, not a tear.
Martin watched his daughter Julia carefully, studying her like he’d never seen her before. She wore a plain black dress and a thick coat because it was freezing out. She had a smudge of Helen’s lipstick on her cheek because her grandmother couldn’t seem to look at her without smothering her with unnecessary affection. Julia was staring out the stained glass window, frozen like a doll in a storefront. Sometimes Martin looked at her and wondered who his wife had slept with when he wasn’t paying attention. Among her many quirks, Julia had the unnerving tendency of acting like she’d lived about eighteen lifetimes already, instead of eighteen measly little years. In the wake of Angela’s death, everyone suddenly remembered about Julia Flynn, a product so like her mother, but so overshadowed by her mother in recent years. Now it was too late for her. No one knew what was going to happen to her now, but God knows that they’d find some reason to complain about it.
Finally, the old organ squeaked its last of the hymns Angela had requested and Father Henry finished off the funeral. The priest was a friend of Martin’s in the sense that they were the same age and had grown up together. Henry and Martin did not see eye to eye on anything and they were not necessary exemplary examples of BFF’s, but, due to their mutual history, Martin found it convenient to hold a certain familiarity with Father Henry. Henry allowed him do this with the vague hopes of a spiritual awakening that even he could not quite find possible in Martin. Martin was hard to pin. He was born with a stodginess even professors in old dusty tenured chairs would find astounding. When Angela fell for him even Martin seemed at a loss, though he married her quick enough. They were as different as it was possible for two human beings to be. Angela reminded one of a brilliant red flower, not a rose, a posy, something brighter than even a rose. She laughed like people only laugh when they have nothing to worry about. Martin was not a laugher. He was a good man, so Helen had reasoned when her daughter had married him, there could be no doubt about that. And he was a good father. Julia was sure that he loved her even though she couldn’t say how she was sure. But on the whole he was a disagreeable ill-tempered sort of fellow.
Together, Martin, Julia, and Helen lined up to receive the well-wishers as the hymn squeaked to an end. Helen did not fit in line comfortably next to Martin and her discomfort was obvious. She did not fit into Martin’s life comfortably, if I’m being honest. The first of many extended a hand to her:
“So sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you,” said Helen.
“So sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you,” said Martin.
“So sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you,” said Julia. A drop of rainwater hit her nose as she spoke.
The building was made of stone and the roof of wood, with nice strong beams and grey stones that were not quite flat. The two doors at the back were the only entrance short of the rectory behind the sacristy. It reminded one of a barn more than a church, with rows of long pews all facing straight to the small altar and pulpit. A plain serviceable yet dull carpet outlined the aisles and, while it did little to soak up the water, it did much to muffle the many high heels that had been drug out for the occasion. The altar boys had been sent around earlier with buckets and pans and even one teapot in an attempt to catch the water as it started to pour mid-service. There were no pretty wild flowers to be had in the late winter so the florist had supplied trite looking arrangements that reminded Julia of gangster movies where mobsters would send flowers to the soon-to-be-deceased so they would know what was coming to them.
“Fucking terrible thing happened,” condoled Carl, who along with his very colorful linguistic ability possessed no gage of how he was perceived by other people. No one blamed him because he’d been in the War. And then he’d watched his son die in the other War. Secretly, Carl simply allowed them to think this and went about his business cursing up the place like Kanye West without bleeps.
“Thank you, Carl,” said Helen, who secretly found Carl rather rebellious.
“Terrible, Martin.”
“Thank you.” Martin hoped that along with the many casseroles he was to expect at the after-death, as he liked to think of it, there would be some whiskey.
“Terrible,” was all Carl had left when he got to Julia.
“Thanks,” she said.