Brighter then the Sun - Chapter 1

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Brighter then the Sun

by kenji

Libraries: Drama, Fantasy, Original Fiction

Published on / 1 Chapter(s) / 4 Review(s)

Updated on

Intro to my novel. It introduces how the protagonist becomes a villain.

Alone. Here I am, Completely alone with only my own dark musings to comfort me. Already, I can imagine the questions filling your head as you listen to me begin this story. But there is no need for you to ask me your questions, since the story that I am about to tell you will answer all of your questions and many, many more. But in order to do this, I must start at the beginning, where all stories must start.
 
Though before the beginning should come a name, my name. I am Kuro, the Black Emperor, and now I shall tell you my story.
 
I was but three when my entire world changed. While memory eludes me on most of the events during that short time in my life, whenever my thought strays back to that time I am left with a sense of happiness, warmth, and love. My father and mother loved me, we had friends, and a happy home, but it was the simple fact that we had each other that filled me with such child-like joy.
 
Our home was located in the middle of a small country that simply sang, it had such a strong sense of spirit in it. Father and some of his dearest friends had built the home we lived in for my mother, just before they had married. The cottage was one of the largest in the area. It was lofty and airy, and always smelled of cedar. For me, there was always the lingering smell of my mother baking bread. In this home I was born and raised, even though that raising spanned only a short time.
 
Father was farmer, and while our farm was small, containing only one cow and a small plot of vegetables, the rest of our lands consisted of a flourishing peach orchard.
 
The orchard surrounding our house was extensive, surrounding our small farm and spreading out for miles. Our peaches were not just your run-of-the-mill peaches, either. These peaches were mouth-wateringly sweet and juicy, and each bite was like tasting a small piece of heaven. I still believe it was the soul of the land that turned our peaches into the best peaches growing anywhere, despite the claims that we merely had the best piece of land.
 
Sadly, I don’t remember much more then this. Actually, the only clear memory of those days to remain intact in my mind, like a small, but persistent, pest, is one I would rather have forgotten with the rest. The day began like any other, and my mother and I soon found ourselves in one of her gardens.
 
Flowers had always been my mother’s love, second only to the love she had for my father. There were many gardens surrounding the house, spreading nearly to the edge of the orchard. Only a single patch of earth was reserved for the small vegetable garden that supplied us with fresh food so that we had no need of going to the market. The other gardens, my mother’s gardens, were filled with every flower she could find, roses and violets, daisies and tulips, and so many others that I don’t remember the names of. Of all the flowers she planted in her many gardens her favorite was the sunflower. Many sunflowers used to grow in gardens, surrounding the house and some growing to be nearly as tall as it. They were her favorites, I remember, because they reminded her of the sunlight and they reminded her of me…
 
“Their petals are as bright as the morning sun,” Arella said to her small son, who was kneeling in the dirt beside her as she pulled the weeds from her precious garden. “But you, my dear little Kuro, are brighter than them both.”
 
It was something she said often to her small child, always delighting in his bright smile and small life, and Kuro was always just as delighted to hear his mother tell him that.
 
How naïve we both were.
 
The bright summer sub shone down on them, as she toiled in the garden with motherly patience. Kuro grew bored and sought out adventure with his ball and his ever-present square of fabric that was all that remained of a blanket he had so loved as a baby.
Father was away in the orchard, and while Kuro played, his mother worked. That was how it often was for him. Father working in the orchard; mother weeding her gardens, leaving him free to play as he wished. And always he carried with him that small Square rag of blue cloth. The blanket was the one thing in life he clung to most tenaciously, and it was because he had taken it everywhere, on every adventure, that his mother had been forced to do something with the ragged thing, and had trimmed it down to a single square that he still hauled around with him.
He loved that single square as much as he had loved the whole blanket.
 
Arella sat up, wiping the sweat from her pale brow as she gazed up at the sinking sun. She turned her eyes towards the orchard as Kuro came up to her and studied her face. She was very beautiful, his mother. He knew that even though he was just barely three years of age. Perhaps it was because his father told him constantly that his mother was beautiful that he could was able to see her beauty through his child eyes.
 
Kuro turned his gaze to fallow his mother’s, trying to spot his father, but as was often the case, he was working beyond the range of his little boy sight, trying to find him in the warm, fading, afternoon light.
 
“Kuro,” Arella said, turning to him with a smile, “Would you like to help me prepare drinks and a snack, before Papa returns?”
 
Nodding eagerly, Kuro waited until his mother stood and began walking towards the house before following after her, leaving his ball resting on the ground, but clutching the remaining scrap of his blanket in one hand.
 
As she busied herself in the kitchen, preparing a fruit drink, Kuro sat at the table, watching his mother with large eyes.
 
They were different then others, his mother and he. They didn’t look like his father, or his father’s friends. Kuro pondered this as he studied his mother, noting her smooth peach skin, and her pink lips. Tall and slender, she was like an angel, even with dirt smudged on her hands from planting and weeding the garden. Her hair was pastel blue, like the colour of the summer sky when it was hazy with thin wisps of clouds.
 
Pulling a strand of his own curly hair before his eyes for examination, Kuro scowled at the dark blue locks. They weren’t soft and fluffy, like his mother’s, but were thick and wavy, like his father’s.
 
Releasing the piece of hair with a grimace, Kuro returned his deep blue gaze to his mother. Turning towards him, she smiled, her eyes lighting up as she carried over a tray of dried fruits, a pitcher, and cups to him. Her pale blue eyes matched perfectly with her cloud-light hair, and he knew without asking that his own eyes would match his dark blue hair as perfectly as his mother’s eyes matched hers.
 
“Angel People.” That is what the town’s people called his mother and him. They were probably not far off the mark either, since both of them sported thin, light wings sprouting from their backs.

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.
 
When at last he came to a halt Dan set Kuro on the ground, leaving the little boy staring up at his father with tears brimming in his eyes and staining his cheeks. Instantly his mother was there, wrapping her arms around him and lifting him from the cold unfeeling ground, holding him in the warm protection of her loving arms.
 
“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.
 
Suddenly his mother was no longer holding him, and he was longer catching her tears. Instead, he was soaring through the air, tossed from his mother’s arms after she had tripped on a protruding branch, losing her grip on him as she fell to the earth with a snap of breaking bone.
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.
 
From the dark of the coming night huge shadows emerged, towering over the little boy hidden in the bushes, and towering over his mother, who remained sitting on the hard ground, unable to stand and run. Grunting and cursing in a harsh tongue they moved through the dark, spotting Kuro’s mom even as he curled into a tight ball, shoving his fists into his mouth to keep from crying out to his mother. He was scared and wanted her to hold him, to make the scary men vanish.

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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