This is the introductory clip of a short story I am writing–it hasn’t been edited yet, but once I’m completely finished I will post the full version to this blog!
There was always something about the sky that seemed wrong. It was flat and a sickly shade of green, casting a strange light over the scene. Eris peered out to the horizon, a thin golden bar set against the nauseated heavens. All around her spread the same plain of waving amber grass that she had been standing in for the past few years. Nothing taller than the grass broke the horizon line–there were no trees and no mountains to break the endless line of sight. They had told her that this was the safest place to be, and for a while, Eris had been content with the monotony. After years of returning to the same field each night, however, she had begun to wonder if they had been wrong. A whispering breeze blew in at her back, a cold, dry wind that sent chills up her arms.
Eris started violently and whipped around to face the boy standing before her. He had golden hair and bright hazel eyes set in a clever face, wearing a simple tunic and pants. Eris narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
“What are you doing here?”
The boy laughed. “You seemed bored. I’m Janus.” Eris remained silent, still staring at the boy with suspicion. “Did they tell you not to speak with anyone?”
“They said I would never see anyone at all again if I followed their instructions.”
“Well, here I am,” Janus said brightly, holding his arms out wide. “This is my sister, Hope.”
Eris blinked and a girl appeared a few feet away from Janus. She was taller than her brother, but they looked nearly identical apart from that. She grinned and gave Eris a small salute.
“Why are you here?” Eris asked them cautiously.
“You’ve been in Asphodel for a long time,” Hope replied. “We’re here to free you.”
Eris looked down at her shackled wrists. She was sure that she hadn’t been chained to the ground before that moment. “They said I had to stay here.”
“But why?” Janus inquired, scoffing. “It’s not dangerous at all.”
“Don’t you want to see what’s beyond the field?” Hope asked.
To be perfectly honest, Eris considered, they hadn’t really explained why she couldn’t explore. They had only said…
“They said it wasn’t safe to go alone,” she said.
“You wouldn’t be alone!” Hope answered with a clear laugh. “We’ll show you the way.”
Hesitation and curiosity prickled over Eris’s skin, and she deliberated for a moment. Really, what harm could it do? It seemed rather ridiculous to remain in the field forever. They had been known to be wrong before.
“Alright,” Eris conceded.
The sibling’s faces broke into twin smiles. “Excellent,” Janus said excitedly. “Where to first?”
“I think we should take her to the palace,” Hope replied decidedly, taking Eris’s hand. “What do you think?”
Now that Eris had made her decision, any former misgivings she had had melted away into pure thrill, the intangible sense of adventure running like electric fire over her skin. “Anything sounds fine to me.”
Something echoed far away, the sound of a shrill bell ringing repeatedly. It became louder and more intrusive, distorting the image before Eris. A voice joined the sound of the alarm, calling Eris back. The field fractured and disappeared, and Eris opened her eyes.
Thanks for reading!