This is a bit of story i wrote a while back. The second of 3 prototypes for the beginning of the story.
Comments/Criticism welcome and appreciated.
It was one of many cold nights in the city of Jackson. Snow danced from the sky and settled on the rooftops, and a blue wind chilled the hearts and minds of all those walking the street. It had been an unnaturally long winter, and they were only growing longer with each passing year. In fact, for a region so close to the desert lands, the winter itself was unnatural.
The city itself was split into quarters, not by walls, but by status. An idea of social eminence imposed by a late Kaiser (King) had put people in their place, so to say. The repercussion was that some quarters of the city thrived, while the others were diminished by poverty and crime.
In the far south-east quarter, sitting tiredly against the outer wall of the city, stood the Suns Orphanage. The building and its inhabitants were long forgotten by those who governed the city, and it was sustained only by the stubborness of one man, James Bjørnar.
The man stood alone in his office, clasping a bottle. Despite his drunken state, he couldn't take his mind off the turmoil in his mind. He felt wasted here, looking after these abandoned children. It'd been a long time since he'd felt the compassion that made him take on the position, but now only a blatant sense of what is right kept him from taking his coat and walking out the front door.
The children, he knew, could sense his frustration. They were quiet spoken, and fearful even. One thing that pained him more than his regret was that the lives he guarded could not appreciate it. He took a deep swig from his bottle, and stared blankly. After a few moments his face crinkled into lines of misery and he dropped to his knees, sobbing.
In a cold room upstairs, two children shivered in their beds. One stared at the ceiling, blowing plumes of steam into the air, while the other gazed at the pitiful flame that burns valiantly against the dark. They could faintly hear the man downstairs, crying in the late hours of the night.
A loud crash echoed from downstairs, rousing them. They both looked to the door and, ready to feign sleep, should he come checking their rooms. After waiting for a few tense moments, then turn back to their freezing vigil.
“Os, can you still do it?” Quietly asked Vegard, the older brother.
“I think it’s too cold”, whispered Osmond, shuffling out of his blanket and holding up his hands.
He shut his eyes and sat quietly for a moment, his brow crinkling as he concentrated.
Slowly but surely, ribbons of heat curled upwards from his fingers. As numb as they were, both brothers felt rising heat in the room.
‘Kult’, remarked Osmond.
Another crash echoed through the floor from downstairs. The warmth emanating from his hand disappeared, and the room was cold again. ‘Asshole’ thought Osmond, frowning. He pulled his blanket around himself and shivered.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, waiting, then Vegard's stomach rumbled.
“Are you hungry”, asked Osmond, looking over.
“Yes”, replied Vegard, with a wide yawn.
Osmond leaned his head back, and shut his eyes again. A few moments later, A floorboard creaked and he looked over to see Vegard stepping quietly to the door. “What are you doing?!” Osmond hissed.
“He’s been quiet for a while, he probably went to bed.” Said the older brother, listening at the door. He turned the doorknob quietly and inched it open, checking the hallway. “What if he’s still awake?” Asked Osmond fearfully. Halfway out the door, Vegard looked back briefly. “I’ll be fine”, then disappeared into the hall.
‘I hope he’s asleep’ thought Vegard, as he tip-toed down the hallway, avoiding the loose floorboards with his numb feet. He reached the staircase and peered down, and saw the light from the carer’s office. Despite the danger, he began to creep down the stairs, and hopped over a toy train left fatally at the first step.
Sneaking through the landing into the kitchen, he searched the kitchen quietly for a scrap of food. He grabbed what remained of a loaf from the kitchen bench, and upon hearing the carer moving around again, he rushed back to the stairs. Forgetting the toy on the floor, he kicked it over and sprinted up the stairs as its noisy rattle echoed through the house.
Osmond sat in his bed, listening intently to what might be happening downstairs. Suddenly, he heard someone running down the hallway. Vegard burst into the room and threw something under the bed; then shut the door and listened quietly against the wood.
“He was awake” revealed Vegard.
“Idiot” repeated Osmond ruefully. They listened as the carer stormed up the stairs and yelled down the hallway. They heard a door open to one of the other orphans rooms, and murmuring.
After a few second hoarse yells echoed down the hallway, accompanied by a young girls voice. Osmond realized suddenly that he was yelling at Saga, a girl he had a growing crush on. Osmond ran to the door, and angrily burst onto the landing “Don’t touch her, asshole!” He yelled heroically through the house. A few doors along the hall opened fractionally, as other orphans wondered tiredly what the racket was. James looked down the hall hazily at Osmond, and then he turned from the girls doorway and walked purposely towards him. “Was it you then?!” He growls, stumbling briefly. His angry eyes came into focus, as he drew nearer.
"Did you not hear when i said go to bed?! DID YOU NOT?!".
Osmond stood terrified and defiant in the doorway, victim to his own heroism. As the carer bared down on him, a pillow flew over Osmond's head and slapped James in the face with a slight thump. Vegard dashed past Osmond and threw a kick into the man's shins. As a very drunken James collapsed to his knees, grunting in pain, Vegard delivered a clumsy kick to the side his head and turned back to Osmond. "Come on!" He yelled. Osmond eyes widened fearfully, then swallowing his fear he ran and leaping over James, avoiding a slightly flailing arm. As they ran by Saga's room Osmond glanced in and briefly saw her crying face.
Edited by Orsony, 30 June 2011 - 06:31 AM.