'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

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'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 15th, 2012, 1:01:52 am

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Chapter One



Isabel

When my bowl of beef soup is placed in front of me, I bite my bottom lip. Along with the beef, vegetables float around in the dark broth. The soup is bitter and cold. I know from past meals. It’s not one of my favorites. In fact, none of the meals at the orphanage is very tasteful.

As time passes, my sister, Marley, nudges my side. I turn to her emotionless and she whispers, “Eat your soup.”

I don’t want to eat. I’m not hungry, and I just don’t want feel like eating right now. But I know why Marley wants me to eat. I know myself I would regret not eating afterwards. The staff would dispose of my unfinished soup and punish me. None of the staff are really nice. Most of them are strict.

After hesitating, I sigh and whisper back to Marley, “I’m not hungry.”

Marley is five years older than me. We were found by the orphanage in the village six years ago when I was five. I don’t even remember much of the day they brought us into the orphanage. But I do remember than we weren’t orphans. We had a mother and a father and a brother. Our family just wasn’t with us at the time. I remember mom going into a bakery with my brother...or was it our aunt’s house? I still can’t remember every detail.

Marley was trying to explain to them that we weren’t orphans. That we had a family. But at the time, Marley was only ten and to the orphanage, a confused child. They didn’t pay much attention to me. After that, they put a stamp on our arm. On my arm in blue numbers, was written 34. On Marley were 62.

They then explained to us the rules of being at the Orphanage. At the Orphanage, there are four groups. The girls A to M, the girls N to Z, The boys A to M, and the boys N to Z. This meant that Marley and I would both be in the girls A to M since our names started with letters A to M. They then told us that we were never, under any circumstances, to see any other group. This implies that girls and boys at the Orphanage will never see each other. With that in mind, it means that a boy and girl can never fall in love at the Orphanage unless they are gay.

Along with that rule, we’re never allowed to run away. That will result in a search party for you, and once you are found, your execution will be public and celebrated. Then, they will find a new child to replace your number. So if I ran away from the Orphanage, I would be killed and a new orphan will be number 34.

“Isabel. Isabel. Isabel!” shouts Marley.

I must have zoned out for a while. I wasn’t even paying attention to Marley. “Sorry, what did you say?” I ask.

Marley sighs and lowers her voice to a whisper again. “I said, you need to eat. They’ll whip you in front of everyone if they find you haven’t eaten.”

That’s true. I’ve seen it happen to a few girls before. They leave scars where they whipped them. It’s hard to look at. There have been times when I haven’t eaten, but I’ve always told the staff that I’m sick and not feeling well. I get away with it, but I can tell that they won’t fall for it next time it happens.

Quickly, I devour my beef soup leaving some stuck in my throat. All of the girls walk up to our bunks. Marley and I share one bunk. I’m top and she’s bottom. But it does switch up a bit sometimes but for tonight I was top.

Before getting into bed, I ask Marley, “Why do you think we are lucky to be here? Were treated poorly and we never get to see our family.”

“We don’t want to see our family,” Marley tells me.

“I do,” I say.

“Why?” Marley asks. “We’re the lucky ones. No kids these days actually get to spend time with their family. Parents either leave their kids for the Orphanage to find, like us, or they put their kids up for adoption.”

I think about this for a moment. Being put up for adoption isn’t nearly as bad as being an orphan. But when Marley puts a finger over my mouth just as I’m about to reply, I know she’s not finished. “When you’re put up for adoption, you’re advertised.” She says. “There is a column about you in a newspaper that basically says ‘hey, come and buy me.’ And when the children are bought, they are taken away from their real families and given to a cruel one that uses children as slaves.”

This scares me. I’ve never heard Marley say such a thing. Is it true? Would our mom have put us up for adoption if the orphanage hadn’t found us? And then would we really have been put into the hands of evil people? Where we would be worked to death? It seems so cruel that it’s unthinkable.

“How do you know?” are the only words I get out.

“The same way you do now,” She says. “The other girls have told me.”

I take this all in, but it confuses me. Our world isn’t cruel, is it? People can’t be so cruel. It’s complete madness.

Marley must have noticed my confusion, because the next thing she says is, “Don’t worry. We’re safe here, for now. Try to get some sleep.”

I nod and we share our goodnights. Before I climb into bed, Marley kisses me on my forehead and brushes a strand of my blond hair behind my ear. I can’t get any sleep after that. I keep thinking about what Marley told me. Then, I think about what she said after that.

“We’re safe here, for now.”

Does that mean we won’t be safe here forever? Will we be in danger? I leave that thought aside, but that’s pretty hard. I can’t imagine being in danger here at the orphanage.


Thomas

King Williams stares in amusement at the sketch in my notebook. I use the notebook for drawing new inventions. Then, after the King’s approval, I build them.

“This one,” Williams says with his finger set on a sketch in the notebook. I stare at the sketch beside him. The Circumlator 57. A machine where someone stands inside of a circular box and his or her body experiences a series of waves of shocks which results in a very slow and painful death.

“The Circumlator 57,” I say to the King. “It’s a death trap.”

“I see,” he replies, his eyes still on the sketch. “It will work well on one of our prisoner’s execution.”

“A slow and painful death.”

“That’s what I intend on,” Williams continues. “How fast can you have it built?”

I certainly wasn’t expecting King Williams to say that. Yes, he may have fallen in love with many other of my inventions, but he usually leaves me criticism on the inventions.

“Maybe a couple months, but, are you sure this is the machine you want built?” I ask.

“Of course Thomas,” hearing the King say my name feels like a complete honor. “A couple months it is. Your due date will be.....August eleventh,” he takes out a small notepad and jots something down. “Don’t fail me.”

“Yes, my King,” I say as I kneel before him.

Williams leaves my lab which leaves my lab crew and me alone to discuss his suggestion of us building The Circumlator 57. I quickly head over to my working lab crew, each of them on a computer researching machinery. “Everyone, may I please have your attention,” I announce. All heads turn towards me and away from their computer screens. “King Williams has asked us to build the Circumlator 57 for him. We must start building now because the project is due on August eleventh.”

Gasps fill the room. A boy with dark hair and dark skin raises his hand to speak. I nod at him and he says, “But, Professor Thomas today is May twenty-ninth. We’ll never be able to finish the experiment on time,” with worry in his voice.

I try to remember this boy’s name. But I can’t seem to get my tongue on it. Something like Jeremy? Jamie? Justin? The point is, he is right about one thing. We don’t have very much time to build the Circumlator 57, but we must as it was suggested by Williams.

“I assure you....that we will finish the machine in time,” I say unworried. “Besides, it was suggested by the King that we build it, so we must.” Silence fills the room. Does my lab crew really doubt themselves? We’ve done tasks much more difficult than this it should be no problem. “Everyone back to work. We will start the machine tomorrow.”

With that, everyone focuses their eyes back on their computer screens. I stare from behind them and stare at all twelve computer screens. Eleven screens show research of machinery. One screen that belongs to a red haired girl named Sonja has a picture of a human body....or is it a human body? Either way, Sonja is not doing what she should be.

I walk over to her computer and ask her, “What is that?”

She’s startled by my sudden appearance. Her eyes show worry and I know I’ve caught her. “It’s the body of a shape-shifter.”

I stare at her computer screen and then back to her tinted blue eyes. “Get back on task,” I order. “Don’t let me catch you doing this again.”

Sonja nods and apologies. I walk away from her and to the front of the lab crew. It seems like a classroom here. Correction, it is a classroom here. The twelve of them at their computers while I stand in front of a chalkboard.

I think of the picture that was on Sonja’s screen. The picture of a shape-shifter’s inside body. But then I think about the Circumlator 57 and how the king wants to use it as a punishment. Part of me is glad that King Williams has asked me to make the invention for him as I will be paid a fortune for building it, but part of me has regret that I am building this death trap.
Last edited by Dauntless on July 17th, 2012, 2:59:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 15th, 2012, 1:02:44 am

Chapter Two



Ariza

“Wake up sorceress’s! Today is a very special day!” The voice belonged to Wendy Densee. Wendy is a very rich and very famous sorceress. That’s why she is here. Here at our sorceress camp where young women learn to use magic.

Everyone slowly began to wake up at the voice of Wendy. I’ve already been up for a while. Around an hour, I think. Maybe two. I sit up from my sleeping bag and listen to what instructions Wendy has for us.

“Today is a special day!” Wendy repeats. “Today is the day we go to Capitolium Village where we will meet with our one and only, King Williams and his daughter Hailey Williams, to see which sorceresses will graduate and become a true sorceress. There are hundreds of you here, and only two of you will graduate today!” I snort. As much as I would love to be one of the two girls who graduate, I know my chances are the lowest. “Now, we better head towards Capitolium before it’s too late!”

Everyone collects their sleeping bag and their wand and we begin the journey to Capitolium Village where King Williams and Princess Hailey will each decide which two of us will graduate and become true sorceresses. But it’s much more than becoming a true sorceress. The two who graduate, will be given a phoenix egg.


Thomas

Two days have passed since King Williams has instructed me to build the Circumlator 57 and I must say, our progress so far has been a great start. Even though we have not yet started building the death trap, my lab crew has been studying more on electricity. They have been studying this so they will understand how to attack the series of shocks inside the Circumlator 57.

Surprisingly, I’ve been learning some stuff about electricity. I learned that with the right selection of wires, I will be able to adjust how powerful the series of shocks will be. I have started to collect these wires as I am sure Williams will approve of this adjustment to the Circumlator 57. But still, something about me creating this experiment for King Williams seems wrong. It seems cruel that William’s will use it on people, but then again, they are prisoners and law-breakers.

Today, Williams came to the lab with some very exciting news. He reminds me of how today all of the student sorceresses will be coming to the village where King Williams and his daughter, Princess Hailey will each choose a sorceress that will graduate and will receive a phoenix egg.

A phoenix is a ritual in our world’s religion. They are strong mystical birds that are born of fire. The reason for giving an egg to the graduating sorceresses is because the phoenix increases the sorceress’ power, confidence, strength, and all the abilities a sorceress must have.

Anyway, Williams has planned that before the graduation begins he will do a presentation on the creation of the Circumlator 57. And then, I will give a speech to the village about how the machine will work.

The only problem is that I only have a few hours to write a speech, and this is no task I’ve ever been well at. Even at 40, I’m a man who can’t seem to write a speech about one of my own inventions. But with all the excitement that fills the inside of me that my invention will be presented publicly, my writer’s block soon fades away and I begin writing.


Isabel

The next day goes by just as a normal day does. We’re served three meals and work for the rest of the day. Cleaning is what we do most when it comes to work. Cleaning the tables, our rooms, the kitchen, it fills up most of our day.

For some reason, I find myself staring at the stamp on my arm. The stamp that reads 34. It makes me feel like I’m not human whenever I see the number stamped onto my skin. It makes me feel like a number. Nothing more than a number.

When dinner comes around, I am given a plate full of a grey mash and peas. I use my fork to play around with the peas when Marley’s voice startles me.

“Isabel, eat now!” Marley says to me.

But before I can even argue with Marley, a deep stern voice shouts from behind me, “34, why aren’t you eating your dinner?”

I gulp and turn my head around to see Mrs. Adams staring down at me waiting for an explanation. Mrs. Adams. One of the strictest staff here at the Orphanage. Mrs. Adams is a middle aged woman. Late forties or early fifties is my guess.

I pretend to be sick as I usually do and say in a weak voice, “I.....I don’t feel very good.”

Mrs. Adams gives me such a mean glare it’s scary to look at. “Come with me,” she demands. I slowly stand up and she snatches my wrist, dragging me up in front of everyone.

Mrs. Coney, one of the cooks at the Orphanage, hands Mrs. Adams a whip. “Bend down,” Mrs Adams says sternly. I’m shaking so hard, I can’t even move my body. “Bend down!” Mrs Adams is screaming now.

That’s when the tears begin to fall. I now do as she says and get onto my hands and knees. “You lied to me,” says Mrs Adams. “And now you’re going to be punished.”

Mrs. Adams pulls my pants down revealing my naked bum. I start to sob. My eyes are squeezed shut. I’m scared. Very scared. Who wouldn’t be? I’m about to be whipped in front of Marley! Marley. Oh, no. She’s going to have to watch me get whipped. It’s my own fault, though. And I even saw this coming, but I did nothing.

With the whip raised, I felt it smack against my bare skin. I weep loudly at the sudden pain. My face is burning. The whip is raised again, but a voice stops Mrs. Adams from whipping me again.

“Isabel!” The voice yells. “Isabel!”

It continues to yell my name and the voice is very familiar. The shouting of my name gets closer, and I know who it is. Marley.
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 15th, 2012, 1:03:44 am

Chapter Three



Isabel

I still waited for the next whip, but it never came, and Marley’s voice was closer to me than ever. I slowly opened my eyes to see Marley strangling Mrs. Adams and a couple other staff. Marley was struggling and I knew it, but she still continued shouting my name.

“Isabel, run!” she screamed.

And I do. I run. I stumble to my feet and run as fast as I can. I find the exit to the Orphanage and run away from it. But now, I don’t know where to go. The Orphanage is in Morsteen Village, and the closest village to Morsteen is Capitolium. The thing is, Capitolium is not safe. It’s where King Williams is, and he will find me in no time flat and begin organizing a celebration for my death.

I don’t have much time. It’s dark outside, and I can hear the Orphanage staff chasing after me yelling at me to come back. It’s pathetic actually because it should be obvious that I’m not coming back.

I try to find a place here in Morsteen that will be safe, though, Morsteen isn’t a very big village. There aren’t many places to hide where the Orphanage couldn’t find me.

After running for a little while longer, I can hardly breathe anymore. I find myself crawling now. I’m desperate for a place to stay where I am safe from the Orphanage. But like I said before, there aren’t many places to hide in Morsteen where the Orphanage wouldn’t find me.

I look up from the ground, noticing a building a couple yards away. I crawl to the entrance, and then force myself to my feet. Above the entrance shows a sign that shows two words I can barely make out because of how scratched out the words are. Richard’s Museum.

I walk into the museum only to find darkness. There are no lights and it’s dead silence. The sound of someone else’s voice makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand out.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?” A deep voice yells and it’s followed by an echo.

Scared out of my mind, I scream at the sound of this voice, but a hand soon covers my mouth blocking most of my scream. The lights then flicker on. A man stands before me with his hand over my mouth. Before he removes his hands, he says angrily, “God, child! Be quiet! You’re louder than a pack of wild lions!”

I’m guessing this guy is Richard, knowing this museum is called Richard’s Museum. Or Maybe he is a staff member here? He’s a tall man who wears glasses and has a very short head of grey hair. He must be around fifty.

“I-I’m sorry,” my voice shakes as I apologize.

“Who are you?” he asks. Answering this question may not be the smartest idea, so I don’t. But when I don’t answer, he gets a closer look at me, and notices the number 34 on my arm. “Ah, you’re an orphan. And what are you doing away from the Orphanage?”

“I......ran away.”

He slightly nods and then circles around me. This gives me an opportunity to glimpse at all of the exhibits at the museum. There are many artifacts found on a podium in a glass vase. From coins to eggs, and eggs to fossils, and fossils to gems. Every exhibit seems special, and expensive.

I seem so into these exhibits that when the man speaks, I jump a little. “My name is Richard Fless, and I own this museum,” He says. So he is Richard. And he owns all of these beautiful exhibits. “What is your name?”

I swallow before I speak, “Isabel Costar.”

“Well, Isabel,” Richard starts. “As a man against our laws, I don’t plan on ratting you out to the Orphanage.”

This was a relief to hear from Richard. A kind man it seemed he was. But, Richard is a man against our laws? He doesn’t believe in our religious morals? Possibly, he has his own morals, which, I’m for all I know isn’t even legal.

“Thank you,” I say. “Do you think I could stay here tonight?” I can tell Richard is thinking this over, and not exactly wanting me to stay. “Please, just one night. I’ll be gone my morning.”

Richards sighs in defeat, which lightens a smile on my face. “Fine,” he grumbles. “Only one night, and you must be gone by morning.”

I thank him for the second time. Richard leads me to a room in the back of the museum, which could probably get confused as a staff lounge. But there are now staff working at this museum. It’s only Richard. He must get lonely quite a bit working here by himself, but he seems like a happy and kind man.

I settle into my bed with only one thought on my mind. Marley. What would they have done to her? Are they torturing her at this very moment? Or have they killed her. God, please no. I can’t have Marley dead. She’s my flesh and blood and I am hers. We have always been strong together, and we need each other.

I cry myself to sleep.


Ariza

“Kimberly Mason,” King Williams says from his large chair.

A short and pale girl stumbles before the king and princess from the crowd of sorceress’s. Her slightly tinted blond hair is put in one braid for this special occasion.

Our trip to Capitolium wasn’t a very long one, and once we reached the village, the people went crazy at the site of us. After a presentation from a man named Thomas Shields, a machinery scientist, on how he is building a death trap with the name of The Circumlator 57, each sorceress began to present Williams and Princess Hailey with their sorceress power.

After Kimberly was finished, my name was called. Before beginning, I bowed down before Williams and Hailey, and then prepared to use my magic. I started with orbs of light, and then started changing it to Wind Control where gusts of wind were blown here and there.

My performance was not the best. It was obvious. Kimberly, who seems to be born with two left feet, did better than me. Every sorceress showed off their power in a beautiful and magical way, while all I did was cast a few orbs here and there and make gusts of wind.

After every sorceress was finished Williams and Hailey left for about half an hour to discuss who they thought did the best of all of us. I can almost imagine the exact words they would say about me. Boring. Unpleasant. A complete mess. Or maybe, they won’t even bother talking about me.

As much as I would love to graduate, it’s something I can only dream about. Two sorceresses every year chosen from hundreds.

After Williams and Hailey returned every knelt before them. First to speak was King Williams. “Leslie Smith.”

There was no surprise in that one. Leslie Smith had been a sorceress in training for seven years now, and her performance for Williams and Hailey was outstanding.

Leslie stood up from her kneel. I caught a peek at a tear escape her eye, but she quickly wiped it away. Leslie was truly a beautiful girl. She’s twenty-one years old, four years older than me. Her skin is tanned to a pure golden and her hair is a beautiful shade of brown.

Leslie slowly makes her way to the King where she accepts a new wand and phoenix egg. My eyes are focused on the beautiful phoenix egg. A smooth egg with a reddish orange color. It could be confused as a rock if it wasn’t for the scales sticking out from the top.

Now, it’s Princess Hailey’s turn to choose a sorceress. I know it’s not me. Why would it be me? My powers as a sorceress are too weak. It can’t be me. But it is.

Before I can rise and even get the chance to be excited, a man who looked to be in his mid twenties rushed through the sorceress crowd and to Williams.

“Who are you!?” Williams asks the man furiously.

“Matt Deemsmet,” pants the man. “I have come to you my king with recent news. A young orphan has run away from the Orphanage in Morsteen!”
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 15th, 2012, 11:09:32 pm

Chapter Four


Isabel

I wake up the next morning with burning cheeks. I cried so much last night I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to cry again. The thought that Marley may possibly be dead is unbearable. If Marley is dead, I will be able to find out soon. Her death with be celebrated in Capitolium and the news of her death with be spread across all of the villages. After that, the Orphanage will find a new orphan to be Sixty-two.

It never came across my mind that they will be looking for a new Thirty-four now as well. Whenever someone runs away from the Orphanage and then is found and executed, the Orphanage finds a new Orphan and gives them the old Orphanage’s number.

I climb out of bed and head out of my room. I have to leave now under Richard’s orders. He’s still sleeping though, so I see no harm in taking a tour of the museum.

I get a closer look at every exhibit. Morsteen is known as the home for many special artifacts, but I’ve never been able to see any of these artifacts at the Orphanage.

I secretly pick my three favorite exhibits. The Raven Feather, a feather that belonged to a white Raven. The Gryphon Skull, a fossil of a skull that belonged to a Gryphon. And the Tree Seed, a seed that can grow to be a tree mixed between a Cherry Blossom and a Ghost Gum.

I stop at one certain exhibit that catches my eye. It’s a necklace with a coin tied on the end of it. For a moment, I think it’s just an ordinary coin on the necklace, but once I take a closer look, I realize it isn’t. The coin has a drawing of a large bird on it. The bird seems to be covered in flames. According to the long script about the coin, the drawing on it is a phoenix.

I quickly read through the rest of the script.

The Phoenix Coin has a drawing imprinted in gold of a bird covered in fire. This bird is a Phoenix. Phoenix’s are a ritual to our country, and especially to Morsteen Village. Morsteen is the home of the Phoenixes. Legend has it that the very first Phoenix ever born hatched in Morsteen.
After the very first Phoenix was born in Morsteen thousands of years ago, the Phoenix Coin was built as a gift to the bird. The bird refused the gift and attempted to burn it. The Phoenix’s attempt to burn the coin was a fail. The coin resisted all the heat that the Phoenix through at it.
People came to believe that the Phoenix Coin was a protector. As no Phoenix could burn it, even through their massive waves of heat, people believed that it was a sign that the coin would protect anyone from the rays of heat from a phoenix.
In other words, whoever possesses the coin would be safe from a Phoenix’s fire, or any substance of heat. That’s why the creator of the Phoenix Coin – Vincent Marose – began to create more and more Phoenix coins until there were a collection of fifty. Vincent would’ve built more coins, but he began to get seriously ill. Vincent died before he could create any more coins. In his will, Vincent gave all fifty coins away.
Now today, all of the coins whereabouts are unknown except for this one. This certain Phoenix Coin was the 34th Vincent created.

I stop there. Could it be just a coincidence that my Orphan number happened to be thirty four as well? It must be. But it seemed so strange that my number just so happened to be the same as the Coin’s. But then again, there have been more orphans with the number thirty-four than just me.

Through this time period, we still don’t know if these coins protect whoever possesses them from a Phoenix’s fire. The obvious scientific answer is that they don’t, but it still remains a mystery to this day.

Suddenly, I have a strange temptation run through my body. Quietly, but quickly, I slide the glass shelf containing the necklace open. I grab the necklace and try it on. It doesn’t look bad. In fact, I like it.

I do feel bad about not leaving Richard a note that I took the necklace, but I don’t know how to write. Every orphan was expected to learn how to read, but never write. Instead, I leave my ring with my initials graved into it behind where the necklace used to be.

After that, I exit the museum. Last night I thought about where I would go after leaving the museum. I decided to go to the Viridi Forest, which is a huge forest that separates Morsteen Village from Clamatis Village.

I head off towards the forest and out of Morsteen after saying my final goodbyes. Off to Clamatis Village.

Suddenly, I remember that each village is named after a word in Latin except for Morsteen. So, what does Clamatis mean in Latin?


Thomas

“The stupid little orphans,” Williams mutters angrily as he stomps his way around Morsteen Village.

After the sorceress Ariza, I believe her name was, accepted her new wand and phoenix egg, Williams called for me to come to Morsteen with him to the Orphanage where the orphan who ran away was last seen.

Williams wasn’t very happy about this orphan running away. The King gets mad a lot, though. But still, it’s nothing to take lightly. When Williams is mad, one slight mistake and you’re dead.

I, on the other hand, am as happy as can be. The Capitolium citizens seemed very excited when I presented them with my idea of the Circumlator 57. I’m not sure why, but seeing them get excited over a death trap was strange to me.

Do they not realize that one day if they break the law, they will experience the series of electric shocks inside the machine? Or maybe they are just excited to see people rot and die inside the machine. No. That seemed a little.....disturbing. Then again, that is why Williams wants me to create the machine. To watch people rot and die in it.

Once we reach the Orphanage, Williams barges in. All of the orphans are eating what I guess is lunch. They all turn around to see the king and gasps fill the room. All of the orphans are girls, which would mean this is either the Girls group A to M or Girls N to Z.

A couple of the staff members walk up and kneel before Williams. Williams commands them to rise. They do as he says. “Where is she?” Williams asks.

“Right in that room over there,” one of the older women says as she points to a door.

Williams nods and we both make our way to the room. I’m not sure what exactly is going on. Does this mean they have caught the girl who has run away? No. That wouldn’t make any sense. But then, who is in the room?

My question is soon answered as I find a teenage girl with handcuffs on and her mouth has tape over it. Her eyes are red from what I guess is crying. Another one of the staff members stands beside the girl.

Williams leans down and rips the piece of tape off of the girl’s mouth. She cries out in pain at this. “Let me go!” she screams louder than I knew girls could ever scream.

Williams’s action surprises me. He slaps her across the face, but she tries not to react. Who is this girl and why does Williams seem to hate her?

“What’s your name?” Williams asks.

“Marley Costar,” cries the girl.

“Where’s your sister?”

“I don’t know!”

I flinch when Williams slaps the girl Marley again. This is starting to make sense. I’m guessing that this Marley girl is the sister of the orphan who ran away.

“Where is she!?” Williams screams.

“I don’t fucking know!” Marley screams back.

The room is silent now. The King clutches his fists. Another one of our laws is that swearing is forbidden language, especially to the King. Marley won’t get out easy on this one. Williams takes out a knife and slaps Marley’s cheek against the blade. Marley screams out in pain.

Blood pours from the big cut on her cheek. I have to look away from the ugly sight of blood. Marley continues screaming out in pain. I don’t blame her. The cut on her cheek might just be the most pain she’s ever felt in her life.

“King Williams, maybe you should try just asking her what her sister’s name is,” I suggest.

I know Williams gives turns to look at me for a moment, but I’m not facing him to see what kind of look it is he’s giving me. “Alright,” he speaks. “What is your sister’s name?”

It takes Marley a while to answer. Her screaming is turning into just crying now. I hope that means that the cut is starting to get better. After all, the face is the place that heals the fastest. “Her n-name is Isabel C-costar,” stutters Marley.

I turn around to stare at Marley again. Her cut is still bleeding, but I force myself to look at it now. “And you have no idea where she is?” I ask.

Marley shakes her head. For some reason, I believe her. But I’m not sure about Williams. Maybe he does believe Marley, but just wants to slash her face again with his knife.

Instead, Williams stands up and faces the staff member standing next to Marley. All blood seems to have escaped this staff member’s face. “Have there been any recent sightings on thirty-four?” Williams asks. I’m guessing when he says thirty-four; he is referring to Isabel Costar.

The staff member nods and says, “An elderly woman reported to us saying she saw her exit the village this morning, but we’re not sure if she’s telling the truth.”

“What else did she say?” asks Williams.

“She said she saw thirty-four leave Richard’s Museum before she left the village,” continues the staff member. “But that’s it.”

Williams nods. “Alright, thank you,” he says then turns to Marley. “We’ll take this thing with us back to Capitolium after we pay a visit to Richard’s museum.”

A museum? That seems interesting. Not that I will have very much time, if no time at all, to look at the exhibits. But aside from that, I worry about what the king plans on doing to Marley. Torture her? Kill her? Make her death a slow and painful one? Use her against Isabel? I’m starting to wonder if our great and mighty King is actually the devil in disguise.
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 17th, 2012, 2:54:24 pm

Simone

I moan into the long and passionate kiss that Derrick seems to be taking control of. My fingers crawl over Derrick’s bare chest revealing the beating of his heart.

I lean away, needing more air. “What if he sees us?” I pant, referring to ‘he’ as King Williams.

“He’s gone to Morsteen,” Derrick replies with a hint of a smile. “He won’t catch us.”

This is what I hate about being the King’s servant. They are never allowed to love. But I do love Derrick. And sadly, we are both servants for King Williams. If we were ever found making out, our punishment is very severe. Derrick and I will both receive a public beating then be forbidden to ever see each other ever again. And I can’t imagine a life without Derrick.

“But, Derrick....” he cut me off.

“But nothing,” he says. There is a long pause. “Simone, I love you. And I promise, Williams is too stupid to find out we are in love.”

This brightens me up. Seeing the smile on my face, it brings one on Derrick’s too. This would be a perfect moment to tell Derrick about the secret I’ve been keeping from him. “Derrick,” I start. “I’m pregnant.”

He stares at me with total shock. Me being pregnant with Derrick as the dad is amazing, but it’s horrible for us. King Williams will find out I am pregnant, and then he’ll know I’m in love. I don’t even want to think of what he’ll do after that.

“Simone,” Derrick gasped. “How do you know?”

I quickly wiped a tear away from my eye. I know I won’t be able to do that for all the tears yet to come. I grab hold of Derrick’s hand and lead it towards my stomach. I then gently lay his hand down over my belly.

It takes a while for Derrick to feel a kick from the baby. He stares up at me and grabs me in for a hug. I cry tears of happiness and tears of fear into his shoulder. “It’ll be okay,” Derrick says. “He won’t touch our baby.”

As much as I wanted to believe Derrick, I couldn’t. If Williams knows I’m pregnant, he’ll kill it immediately. “You can’t promise that,” I say.

He leans out of the hug and stares right into my eyes as I stare into his. His eyes. They are gorgeous. A bright shade of green swirled with grey blue. I want our child to have eyes like those. The eyes that belong to the boy I fell in love with.

“I can,” Derrick says. “Williams will be back in Capitolium in a few hours. We’ll be gone my then.”

“We’re.....leaving Capitolium?” I ask.

Leaving Capitolium without permission has a huge punishment. But when you’re a servant for Williams, you can never leave Capitolium. It’s forbidden since you must be Williams’ servant for life.

“Yes,” Derrick says. “Go pack up the things you want to bring and then we’re out of here.”

“Where will we go?” I ask.

The answer to this question is kind of already obvious. There is only one place to go that we can really be safe from King Williams.

“Viridi Forest.”


Richard

I stare down at the silver ring where the Phoenix Coin used to be. I twirl the ring around in my fingers noticing the initials I.C wrote in handwritten letters. Isabel Costar.

The silence of the museum is soon interrupted by three figures that walk in. One figure is stomping and seems furious. His face is as red as a tomato. He’s angry. Very angry. After I get a closer look at him, I know why. It’s the King.

Williams has two other people with him. A man who seems to be in mid forties if not forty, and a teenage girl. “Welcome to the museum,” I say.

Williams seems to be waiting for something from me. Is he waiting for me to bow down? In his dreams. I am a man against his laws so I am also a man against him.

“Are you Richard?” asks Williams. He must be in a hurry because he seems to have forgotten I still haven’t bowed before him. I nod in response to his question. He then takes a step closer to me. “Where’s the girl?” he asks.

He’s talking about Isabel. I don’t exactly plan on telling him that she was here though. “What girl?” I ask, sarcasm dripping my voice.

“Where is she?” Williams yells.

I’ll be the first to admit, being the reason for the King getting angry is a pleasure. Most people would be terrified, but what is the worst that he could do? Kill me? I’ll only be with the rest of my family if he does. Keep me as a prisoner? He kills all of his prisoners anyway. But I may be the exception in that case.

“I have no memory of a girl,” I lie.

“Perhaps a name might ring a bell,” Williams snarls.

“Possibly,” I say.

“Thirty-four,” Williams replies.

I chuckle. “That’s quite a funny name,” I say. “Give me her real name.”

I can tell Williams doesn’t want to say Isabel’s name. He’s made it clear from the very start when he created the Orphanage that they shall be called by their numbers and not their real names.

“Isabel Costar,” he mumbles.

“Who?” I ask.

“Isabel Costar!” screams the King.

“Ah, that beautiful young Orphan,” I say getting a picture of her in my mind.

“She is beautiful isn’t she?” speaks the girl. I hadn’t paid much attention to her. I wonder who she is. I know she is an orphan because of the number sixty-two on her arm. “Isabel is my sister. I’m Marley Costar.”

Marley. That sounded strangely familiar. I snap my fingers once I remember where I heard her name from. “Marley! Isabel was screaming out your name last night in her sleep,” I say.

A smile brightens up on Marley’s face. “So, she’s been here!” Marley says excitedly.

Marley seems very excited that her sister has been here. But why? Maybe she’s happy that she knows Isabel is probably still alive? Or maybe she’s happy Isabel found a place to stay last night? Either way, I can tell Marley really cares about Isabel.

“She was here,” I say. “But when I woke up this morning, she was gone.”

“Do you have any idea where she went?” asks Williams.

I shake my head, and I can see Marley’s face drop. “But,” I say making my way over to Marley. “She did leave me this.” I slide the ring onto Marley’s finger.

“Thank you,” she says. I smile at her.

“King Williams,” starts the man who hasn’t said a word yet. “We better get going. Princess Hailey wanted us back at Capitolium by dinner.”

Williams turns to the man and nods, and then turns back to me. “Thank you for your help, Richard,” he speaks.

“No problem,” I say and then shake the King’s hand.



Ariza

I hold my egg close to my heart keeping it safe. Leslie walks over to me handing me a pair of dark green gloves. “Put these on,” she says.

“Why?” I ask.

“They are fire resistant gloves,” she tells me. “And your egg needs to spend twelve hours in the fire.”

I want to question this, but I don’t. As much as I don’t want to put my precious phoenix egg in the fire, I know I have to. It won’t be safe in my arms forever. I take the gloves and pull them on.

I stand up with my egg still close to my heart as I take small steps towards the crackling fire under the chimney. The flames crackle and pop around in the pit. As I put my egg in, I feel no source of heat burning my hands. I lay the egg on a soft spot of ashes.

I know the egg isn’t hurt. It’s in fire, the place its mother was born in. Its ancestors were born in fire. And it will be born in fire.

I stare down at both Leslie’s egg and mine. Leslie’s is fine, but something about mine isn’t. As the flames circle around the eggs, mine seems to be burning to a dark shade of black.
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby PhantomWolf » July 20th, 2012, 8:39:39 pm

(am i allowed to reply on this? or no? i hope so because i am!)

I thinki this is really great! i for one was able to read the whole thing withoyut getting bored.So, i hink you are very good at capturing the readers attention.I have no qualms with this so far, and i very much would like toread some more!
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 20th, 2012, 9:25:21 pm

Thank you so much, and of course you can comment on it! If you want to read the story with faster updates, you can go here:
http://www.wattpad.com/5738068-beneath- ... hapter-one
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Resilient » July 21st, 2012, 12:56:34 am

:wtf: Interesting. At the very least you have peaked my interest in your story, I'll be keeping a close eye on this one, hope your story goes well.
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 21st, 2012, 12:57:23 am

Thank you Gloppie!! :)
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Re: 'Beneath The Ashes' Book one: Controller

Postby Dauntless » July 22nd, 2012, 2:10:49 pm

Simone



I met with Derrick outside the kingdom just only two hours had passed since our conversation about leaving Capitolium. At this point, I was scared of what the future of Derrick and my own life held. Will they catch us? It will probably take a couple years if they ever do. Will we even get out of Capitolium? It won’t be easy, but with Derrick I do not doubt that we won’t.



“Ready?” Derrick asked as he held a silver knife in one hand, and his other hand was gently lying on my shoulder.



I hesitate before saying, “No, but we’re going anyway.”



I can see the corner of his lips forming a smile, but my eyes are still glued onto the reflection I can see in the silver blade that Derrick holds. My thoughts are interrupted by Derrick’s lips pressing against mine.



“Let’s go,” he breaks the kiss. “We need to get out of Capitolium before the King gets back.”



I nod and grab hold of Derrick’s hand as we make our way through the village. It’s dark, and not many people are out anymore. The sky isn’t entirely black but a shade of dark blue. Derrick leads me across the entire village until we reach the Entrance Gate, but stay hidden from the guards standing on each side of the gate.



My grip on Derrick’s hand gets stronger, and I begin to shake slightly. We both turn to look at each other at the same time. My expression reads ‘What do we do now?’



He must have known that’s what my expression was because he leans in and whispers in my ear, “Wait here.”



He doesn’t give me a chance to argue because he is soon running towards both guards with his knife in the air. “Derrick!” I yell standing up.



He’ll never win this fight! Both guards are suited up in armour with a sword in their hands while all Derrick has on is his King Servant uniform and he carries a knife. One guard charges at Derrick with his sword aiming at his face. Derrick ducks and stabs the guard in his gut, but it hardly does anything to the guard since he’s geared up in protection armour.



The other guard comes at Derrick from behind and manages to stab Derrick in the back. I let out a loud scream that scares a few birds away. I immediately run towards Derrick who is now trying to fight off the guard who stabbed him.



I steal Derrick’s knife and stab the guard in his neck, not knowing how much of an impact it would have against his metal armour. To my surprise, the guard actually dropped dead and lies on the ground in his own pool of blood.



I turn to find the other guard has Derrick in a headlock with one arm, and his other hand holds a sword close to Derrick’s head. I pull a strand of my wavy dark hair behind my ear and charge right at the guard with Derrick’s knife aiming for his face. The blade goes through the guard’s mask and digs deep into his flesh.



He releases Derrick and drops to his knees, screaming in pain. I run towards Derrick and bury my head in his chest as I watch the guard scream. He’s not dead, and he probably won’t die, but we’re safe to escape the village now.



Derrick takes the dead guard’s sword, and then pushes the Entrance Gate open. It seems a little pathetic that the King couldn’t have found better guards. It wasn’t easy to escape, but we did. And now we’re outside of Capitolium, which is a forbidden law. But there’s no one to stop us now.



“It’ll be about six hours before we reach the Viridi Forest on foot,” says Derrick.



“Great,” I say with the slightest bit of a smile. “That’s plenty of time for me to tell you how completely stupid you are.”





Isabel



The howling of a wolf wakes me up instantly. I sit up straight from the large tree I had been sleeping against to hear a wolf howl once again.



I breathe heavily for a moment, gladly escaping the dreadful nightmares that haunted me in my sleep. Tonight has been filled with nightmares already, and the sky is still as dark as ever. The only nightlight I have is the moon. Back at the Orphanage, it wasn’t nearly as dark, so I never needed a nightlight, but Viridi Forest is much different from the Orphanage.



I still wonder if Marley is alive. Or how long it will takes for Williams to find me. I know I can’t stay in these woods forever. In fact, I’d be grateful if this was the only night I really had to stay in the forest, but that’s too good to be true. Clamatis Village is a couple weeks away. And even if I get there, what do I do from there? Hide in that village? I can’t stay hidden from all of the citizens there, and they’ll recognize me as soon as they see me.



Or maybe, after a night or two in Clamatis, I’ll go out of this land entirely. Maybe I could go to a world beyond where King Williams rules. But there are too many ‘what if’ questions to doing that. And maybe there is no land that Williams doesn’t rule. Maybe he rules the entire world. I don’t know for sure since we were never told back at the Orphanage.



I decide since there is no falling asleep again tonight, I’ll keep on heading towards Clamatis Village. I wish I knew what Clamatis meant in Latin, and then I would have a better idea of what the village was like.



I keep moving through the forest, ignoring all creepy sounds that the night holds.





Ariza



I let out a gasp before reaching back in the fire and grabbing my egg. It’s turned completely black and looks like nothing more than a piece of coal. I hold it close to my heart, and a tear escapes my eye.



“What happened?” I ask weakly to Leslie.



She stares at my egg speechless. She obviously has no idea what happened either, and doesn’t reply. That’s when the one and only, Wendy Densee, walks in as happy as ever. “Hello girls!” she bursts, “Such a great evening it is, isn’t it?”



I don’t reply or even look at Wendy. I just rock my burnt egg in my arms. Wendy must have noticed my egg, because I hear her gasp. “Oh my! What happened to your egg, Ariza?”



My voice is so weak, it’s barely audible. “I don’t know.”



Wendy lets out a sigh as she grabs hold of my egg, but I refuse to let go. “Give it here, Ariza,” Wendy says, trying not to get angry with me, but I still don’t let go of my egg. “Let go!”



That’s when I give in, and let go of the egg, leaving it in Wendy’s hands now. “Hmm.....” she says, studying ever part of the egg. Wendy puts one hand on top of the egg and closes her eyes. She doesn’t move, or speak. She just lets out breaths of air. “It’s alive,” Wendy says with a complete change of tone.



I lean in to hear what else she has to say. “How do you know?” I ask, getting overly excited.



“It’s moving,” Wendy replies. “It’s crying. It wants you, Ariza.”



Before I can reply, Wendy hands the egg to me. I do the same thing she did, put one hand on top of the egg and close my eyes. I feel the egg move every now and then, but don’t hear a thing. It seems....happy.



As I open my eyes, I see a tear escape Wendy’s eye. “What’s wrong?” I ask.



“Your phoenix,” Wendy can barely speak. “Just never mind, it’s fine. Don’t ever put it in fire again.”



“But,” Wendy cuts me off.



“But nothing. Never put it in fire,” Wendy says strictly, and something about her tone tells me that I really need to listen.
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