Brighter then the Sun
Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 4 Review(s)
Intro to my novel. It introduces how the protagonist becomes a villain.
While their wings could change color, depending on their moods, he had only seen his mother’s wings shift from their bright glistening white into a blue that nearly matched her hair and eyes. The change was brought about by her sister’s death, and Kuro knew that she had been very sad for a very long time. For nearly a month her wings had remained the frosty blue of her sadness before gradually returning to their former glistening white.
Kuro, on the other hand, had never had his wings change color on him. Not once. Always his wings were a bright and cheery yellow, sparkling in the sunlight, and dancing in the shadows of night before he was sent to bed. They were one of the many reasons his mother told him that he was her sunflower. Often he would try to make his wings go white, so that they would look like his beautiful mother’s, but never once did they turn from their shining yellow glaze.
With a blink Kuro came back to the present, turning his curious gaze to his mother, she was standing very still, her gaze turned towards the orchard. Father would be come back soon, and Kuro always ran outside to meet him. Slipping down from the chair he had been perched on Kuro ducked around his mother and ran through the gardens until his feet thumped softly against the hard dirt path that led into the orchards, the path that his father would come down very soon.
But when his father came down the path it wasn’t with the large grin and bright wave that usually was the picture of his father, returning from work to his wife and little boy. Instead there was a look of fear in his eyes as he ran, instead of walking, down the path.
“Arella,” he panted out as soon as she had stepped from the house, alarm radiating from her and hitting Kuro like a nearly physical blow to his small stomach. “Grab Kuro and run!” Turning his own frightened gaze up to his mother he saw the confusion written across her brow. “Take Kuro and go! Quickly Arella!”
Before she could react he was there, scooping a very frightened Kuro into his arms and taking her hand. Tears had come unbidden to the boy’s eyes, overwhelmed by his father’s fear and his mother’s confusion. What was so wrong that made his father run away so quickly from their home?
“Dan,” his mother demanded, trying to speak even as her breath was lost to running. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
Out of breath and wasting none to speak his father simply shook his head, shifting Kuro in his arms so he could hold him more tightly before running ever quicker, dashing into the orchard, continuing in the same direction he had taken to return home.
Kuro, with tears blurring his eyes, turned to look over his father’s shoulder, little arms holding desperately around the neck of his father, his protector. Behind them their house, their home, and their past lives, went up in smoke. Hideous creatures that were vaguely man-like in appearance swarmed his mother’s precious garden their silhouettes framed by the orange of the dancing flames. Even from the ever increasing distance Kuro could see the sunflowers toppling as the monsters trampled his mother’s garden and cut down her precious flowers, leaving nothing but fire in their wake.
“Papa!” He cried softly, trying to make his father stop, to make him turn and see what was happening to the only home he had ever known. But his father didn’t stop, not until he was stumbling with weariness and all but dragging Arella along by the hand, her white wings limp with fatigue.
“What are they?” she asked softly, her voice strangled with fear and empty pain as she struggled to regain her breath.
The only reply Kuro’s father offered her was a muttered “war trolls,” before he began searching the ground for something.
After he had found what he had been looking for—a long, thick branch that he could wield as a club—he turned back to Arella and Kuro, seeing in his son’s face the fear that he felt but could hide, to some degree. But that didn’t stop Kuro from sensing it, from feeling it permeating the air like tangible mist.
Still holding him close Arella began shaking her head. Looking up Kuro could see her wide eyes locked onto her husband, tears streaming openly down her cheeks as his father closed the distance, lifting his free hand to stroke her damp cheek, then stroke Kuro’s cheek.
“Dan, don’t. Please don’t,” his mother whispered, Kuro looking from her to his father, trying to understand what was going on, why it was that his mother looked so sad and his father looked so grim.
“Run Arella. Take Kuro, run, and don’t look back.”
For a moment longer she stood, staring at him with wide frightened eyes, clutching Kuro to her as Dan turned from her, gripping his makeshift club, readying himself to face the quickly approaching trolls.
“Go,” he said softly, turning once happy eyes, now clouded with sadness, to her once more. “I’ll hold them off for as long as I can.”
With a heart broken sob she turned and fled, tears falling from her cheeks and moistening the back of Kuro’s neck.
“Mama,” he whispered, eyes locked on the still form of his father, club raised as dark figures rushed towards him, Kuro’s eyes remaining lost in the distance, even after his father had faded from view, faded into the peach trees of the orchard.
From that distance came a heavy thump, the sound of wood splintering, a grunt of pain, and then silence.
All Kuro heard for a long time was the hitching breathes of his mother as she ran through the orchard, tears still swimming down her cheeks cradling her three year old son close to her chest, fearing that the fate that awaited them would be the same that had met his father. But he didn’t know what that fate was. He didn’t understand. He just wanted her to stop running. He wanted to go back to their large house and make a snack, and have his father walk down the path with a bright grin and a cheery wave. He wanted his mother to tell him that he was brighter than the sunflowers, brighter than the sun.
Just as suddenly as it had started, his short flight was over, ending with a sharp thump on his head as he landed on another protruding root. Dazed and aching Kuro laid there, curling into a tiny ball of hurt as he waited for his head to stop hurting, waited for his mother to pick him up, to cradle him and tell him everything would be all right. He waited for her to take him home.
But she didn’t pick him up, and the pain didn’t go away.
Slowly he lifted his head, quickly blinking as the world spun alarmingly before looking around in desperate hopes of finding his mother. She was there, not far from him, her ankle twisted at an odd angle as she laid still, only her head moving as she searched frantically for her son.
“Mama!” Kuro cried softly, trying to stand to go to her. Dizziness overwhelmed him, making more than just his head spin as he lay back down, covering his eyes with his little hands.
Alerted by the small cry of her child, Arella turned her eyes to him, a small sad smile touching her lips. He tried desperately to get to his knees, to crawl to her and be with her, but he couldn’t move. Every time he tried his head would spin and he would fall back to the cold unfeeling earth, left there to ache, all alone, while his mother was so close.
A soft rumble of thunder shook the air, but Kuro knew it wasn’t real thunder. The sky of failing day was cloudless. Besides, this thunder shook the ground, and was felt through his aching head as a threat more than felt through the air as a promise of rain.
Again he tried to get up, tried to make his way over to his mother, who had pushed herself into a sitting position, her wide eyes locked on the darkness surrounding them. Almost instantly her eyes fell on him, widening as she saw him moving, trying to go to her side.
“Stay there, Kuro,” she whispered softly, making him pause in his struggles to reach her. “Don’t move a muscle.”
Obeying without question, Kuro let himself fall back into the damp earth, watching with wide eyes filled with fear as his mother drew her knees up to her chest, crying out softly as her twisted foot was moved. Tears welled in his eyes, and again he wanted to go to her, to hold her and comfort her as Papa would have, but he remembered her words to stay where he was, to not move a muscle.
The rumble of many booted feet drew closer, and Kuro ducked deeper into the thick bushes that surrounded him, hiding him from the site of the monsters, just as it had hidden him for the site of his mother until he had called for her.
Guttural laughter filled the air as the trolls approached his mother, several yanking her to her feet. A horrid stench filled the air, making Kuro’s already aching head spin horribly.
Darkness crept across his vision as his mother cried against the pain she felt, and against the fear that was overwhelming her. But there was nothing Kuro could do. Sleep was tugging at his mind, pulling him from the scary thing his happy world had turned into. Mama would be there when he awoke, and so would Papa. This was just a horrible nightmare that would end when he would wake in his room, nestled into the thick quilts on his comfy bed. Holding in his small hands the remaining square of his blue baby quilt close to him. There, beneath the feet of the hideous man was that precious square of cloth. It was torn into tatters by the metal shod feet of the attackers and far from my grasp as I lay in the bushes, unconscious and hidden from the monsters that had destroyed my world.
How naïve we truly were.
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