PLEASE NOTE: This is a ROUGH DRAFT. It is the VERY FIRST DRAFT OF THE STORY. YOU are the very first person to read it – I haven’t even read it in its entirety yet!
You WILL come across numerous issues including:
- spelling mistakes;
- grammar issues;
- weak sentence structure;
- repeated words;
- unnecessary words;
- missing words;
- lack of details/descriptions;
- confusing details/descriptions;
Critiques/criticisms, while appreciated, most likely will be discarded at this stage! Thank you.
Additional Note: Doodles, Sketches, and Artwork may be added over time. These are not the story illustrations! They do feature characters and places within the story, however.
Brent gasped as he came to, hearing his mother’s screams quickly died down. He slowly lowered his eyes to his hands. His entire body was engulfed in what resembled a deep, dark blue flame, nearly the colour of the midnight sky. The edges of it glowed a significantly brighter blue. The dark blue flames quickly died out as the blood all over Brent, from his face to his hands to his feet, disappeared.
Brent turned to the mirror across from him looking at himself. It wasn’t just his hands engulfed in the flame-like energy – it was his entire being. His body tingled with varing sensations. Sometimes it felt prickly, while other times it felt no different than someone running their palms over his skin. He felt hot in parts and cold in others.
He had no idea what was going on.
His head turned back to his mother.
As soon as the flame-like energy faded, reality hit Brent like a sledgehammer. He fell to his knees and tears poured from his eyes. He let out a scream of his own.
His mother was dead.
And he killed her.
Brent was wrapped in a heavy, warm blanket, as two of the servants sat next to him. He cast his gaze down to the floor. He had been moved to another room while the royal phyisicans exammed his mothers body. He lifted his head only when he heard a soft click on the door.
Brent felt the warmth of a hug around him before he could even blink. Princess Angelica, the daughter of the king & queen, his best friend, and (hopefully) future wife, wrapped her arms around him. He could feel from the dampness on her cheek that she had been crying. Brent hugged her back, while looking up. To his surprise, the king and queen had also showed up. They too walked up to him and gave him a hug.
“Poor child,” said the queen.
“We are so sorry for what has happened.” The king stroked Brent’s head. Brent was on the verge of tears.
“Your highness, neither one of you had to be here.”
Everyone looked over. An older woman with a stern expression had entered through the door.
“Bedelia, this child just lost his mother.”
“We simply asked you to decide what to do with him in the morning.”
Brent could barely breath with how tight Angelica was hugging him. Brent could feel warm tears falling down her cheeks again. The king stopped touching his head and the queen let go of him, instead placing a hand on his back.
The king lifted his head. “We have already made a decision.”
“Brent shall stay in this castle. He shall continue his studies as is and will be assigned caretakers until he turns 16. From there, his duties as a servant will be increased, although he is free to continue his studies in his open hours.”
Brent stared right into Bedelia’s face. What a fake smile.
Bedelia pushed up her glasses. “Are you sure, your highness?”
“Are you questioning me, Bedelia?”
Brent held back the smirk that wanted to grow on his face. I’m supposed to be sad. Well, I suppose I am in fact sad…but her face.
“Ah…I apologize, your highness. I spoke out of line.”
“Please pick the best servants for the job.”
“Yes, your highness. I shall assign him them in the morning.”
Brent returned the leer Bedelia gave him. Angelica, who was still clinging to Brent, watched the silent exchange.
The king walked into the next room, where the murder of Brent’s mother had taken place. It was full of numerous staff, each doing their part to access the murder scene and figure out the next moves after it – after all, her blood was splatter all over the floor and on the surrounding beds. Brent’s mother at this point, however, was placed underneath a sheet, hiding her terribly mutilated body underneath it. He stood tall as each person turned their attention to him and bowed. The king turned to two knights. “Sir Inwyn, Sir Scotrick, please house Brent in your quarters tonight. I suspect the boy will have dreadful nightmares and we will need to figure out his proper relocation tomorrow.”
Sir Inwyn and Sir Scotrick knelt down in front the king. “Yes, your highness.”
The king returned back to the room with anyone else. He extended his hand to the door, where Inwyn and Scotrick still knelt. “Brent, you will be sleeping in the knight quarters with Sir Inwyn and Sir Scotrick. It is of uptmost importance that you are safe.”
“Thank you,” quietly replied Brent.
He turned towards Angelica, who met him with a faint glint in her eye and the two of them rubbed their cheeks together. The softness of her skin raised his mood just enough for it to be pulled back down by the reality that he would never see his mother again.
Brent had been relocated to a mixed servant sleeping quarters with his own bed in the corner of the room with a beautiful view of the sky. It wasn’t as nice as the room both he and his mother had been generously granted by the king and queen, but it was agreed that he shouldn’t be alone, especially with the trauma still fresh. Still, the room itself and the corner he was in was more than enough. It was a beautifully furnished room for the more high-ranking servants who had more responsibilties in comparison to the rest, but with that, a lot more freedom.
Brent leaned against the light gray walls and looked up, seeing the waning cresent moon above. The stars above the castle glittered brightly, but that was to be expected considering that Astral Isles got its name for such a spectcale, afterall. Something about seeing it all made him begin to relax, forgetting his troubles.
Until he heard the whisperings near the crackling fireplace. Two of the woman servants had been looking over to him and Brent had noticed something was odd, but he couldn’t figure out what. His attention had faded and turned to the sky instead as they talked about how the day had gone. It seems they had watched his attention turn to outside because their idle chatter suddenly changed tone.
“Bedelia said to keep an eye on him, but is it even safe to do so?”
“Do you really think a child his age could kill his mother like that?”
“What if he gets upset at us? I do not want to end up like her.”
“To think he could even do such a thing…it doesn’t seem possible.”
“It is not more strange that the child had no blood on him? You saw the room – it was everywhere.”
“Could he have just entered?”
Another servant in the room walked over to the couches around the fire place with the two woman servants were chattering. He leaned over in between the two of them. “I heard his father was involved with some evil magic.”
One of the servant woman gasped. The other one clicked her tongue.
“Where do you get your information from?” inquired the one who had clicked her tongue.
“I heard from Bedelia as they were sorting his mothers things, they found some letters. She said they were dreadful and burned them.”
Brent grasped his pants tightly as the blood drained from his face. His mind thought back to the shoebox his mother always had on her desk and the letters she was always writing. The box itself had been packed with letters from his father. And now they were gone.
Tears streamed down his cheeks. I wanted to read those one day.
He slid down off the wall and laid on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. His body trembled and withered in pain. He opened his mouth to wail, but choked it back. I can’t…I cannot cry…mother…mother…MOTHER. He sniffled, pulled himself towards his pillow, and buried himself under the covers, hoping it would smother his sobs.
Brent sat slumped in his chair. He let his arm and the book in his hand fall to his lap as he looked off in a daze. Once again, he withered in pain and agnoy. I killed my mom and people know, he thought. I killed her and I don’t know how I did it, but everyone knows I did it. He wanted to start screaming and crying again, but he wasn’t alone. He couldn’t do anything like that. Everywhere he turned, he felt like at any moment, someone was going to point out he killed her, no matter how little he knew about doing it.
Princess Angelica, who had been grabbing a book off a nearby shelf, turned to him. The arm that held the book she just grabbed fell to her side and she held her fan to her heart. “Brent? Are you alright? Are the lessons boring? Or is the library too stuffy?”
Brent sat up and turned to her, grabbing her hand with the fan. “I am okay, Princess Angelica. I’m just still sad about my mother.”
Angelica’s eyes swelled up and she hugged him. “I’m sorry she’s gone. I hope they find whoever killed her.” Her embraced tightened around him and the agony within him increased.
I killed her! I killed her! I killed her!
Brent’s hands balled, grasping into Angelica’s dress as he hugged her back. Angelica simply hugged him tighter.
After a good minute of embracing, Angelica stuck her fan into her pocket, placed her book on the ground, and knelt down beside Brent in the chair. She placed her own hand on his and looked up with a sparkling smile. Her indigo eyes seemed to reflect the stars that appeared at midnight in the sky, lighting up Brent’s heart. A smile spread across her face. “I love you.”
Brent’s heart warmed. “I love you too.”
Brent’s face blushed as he watched Angelica’s do the same. He lightly grabbed her hand and raised it to his lips, giving it a soft kiss.
I can’t keep hurting like this. I’m going to end up hurting Angelica…
Brent’s grab on Angelica’s hand tightened as he looked up at her red face that was partially blocked by Angelica’s free hand. I can’t let anyone know. No one. I need to do better!
Brent could remember when he first met her. Him and his mother were newly arrived at the castle as the new servants to the king, queen, and their only daughter, Princess Angelica. He could still remember the golden-haired girl with indigo eyes giving him a smile that rivaled the brightest star in the sky. He may have only been 6 years old, but it seemed so obvious that Princess Angelica was to be his future wife. He announced it that day to the king, queen, his mother, and the princess herself. Looking back, he was certain that was when the king and queen took a liking to him – how often is it that one child says to another they will take care of them for life? He also remembers his mother profusely apologizing to the king and queen for his “rude” behaviour, but the king and queen seemed not to mind at all. The most amazing thing to him was that Princess Angelica seemed to agree.
As far as Brent and Angelica were concerned, they could open admit their love to each other without consequence. As his 15th year has gone along, he more recently started to question more things, especially with the increased sophistication of the study material in front of him. Bedelia would be aflutter if she knew I was being taught more about how the kingdom is run. He couldn’t help but think he was in the running for Angelica’s husband.
He let a romantic sigh.
It was followed by a girlish giggle from across the room. Brent looked over at Princess Angelica who sat across from him, books sprawled out around her. Placed in front of her was a large journal and a smaller one.
“What is so funny?”
“Your sigh resembles the village girls sighing as Sir Inwyn and Sir Scotrick passby.”
Brent laughed in return. It bounced off the walls of the library and right back to their ears. A single tear fell from his eye, he was laughing so hard. “I-I can see why you would say that.”
“What was so dreamy that you were thinking about?”
Brent gently smiled at Angelica, watching her face flush. Angelica took out her fan and hid her face. “Do tell, what were you thinking about me?”
Brent stood up and moved to the seat across from her, grabbing her free hand. “I was thinking back to the day we first met and I knew you were going to be my wife one day.”
Angelica’s eyes slowly batted. “Go on.”
“I have noticed that my studies have grown outside of what one would expect for a servant boy such as myself. It seems the king and queen have made it a priority that I learn about how the kingdom is run.”
Princess Angelica put down her fan. Her eyes were wide. “They’re…they’re what?”
“I am being taught how the kingdom is run. I suppose it could help me to be a better servant, but the material is so detailed. I feel that I would be halfway to running the kingdom myself.”
Angelica put her fan to her mouth as if she was covering it with a fan. “Thank the stars Bedelia doesn’t know that!”
Brent laughed. “Quite right! She would be mortified if she knew. I can already hear her objections now.”
Princess Angelica and Brent laughed for a moment.
Angelica then lowered the fan from her face and looked at Brent with her indigo eyes. Brent’s breath was stolen from him and everything else seemed to fade away other than Angelica herself. He watched her lips brief purse before she spoke. “Brent, we are both coming up to our 16th year next year and I have been wondering about marriage between us. I love you as I know you do too.”
Brent stood up and leaned over the table, getting closer to Angelica’s face. “There has not been one moment since I met you that I did not want to spend my life with you – not as your servant, but as your partner,”
Angelica’s angelic smile lit up Brent’s heart.
“Angelica,” he said. “What if I discuss the possibility with your parents tonight?”
Angelica’s eyebrows lifted. “How fast!”
“Can it really be so fast if it has been since we met as children?”
Angelica giggled. “I suppose not.”
I must arrange to speak to the King and Queen right away when I have a moment to do so. Would it be best to find a private time? Brent’s face showed a hint of grimance. But if I do, would others be scared I would do what I did to my mother?
Immeditately, he squashed that thought down. No, no, private or not private, I will respectuflly ask the king and queen for Angelica’s hand in marriage for next year.