|Subject:||Do I reveal to much, too soon? AND is anyone Swedish, or know Swedish and can confirm a detail?|
|Author:||JessaRose (Authenticated as dancingintherain)|
|Date:||January 13, 2013 at 5:13:54 AM|
I'm working on a first two chapters for a different story. The story itself occurs in Melbourne, during the year 2014, but the first chapter occurs five years previously and reveals some of the characters history before the story. I'm just worried that it might be too much to soon, and if they're might be better way of revealing this pieces, while still ensuring people understand, and I don't take away from the main story later on. The Frälsarenstadt thing is based on Google translate, telling me that frälsare meant saviour, and that frälsaren was another form of it. If any on can confirm/correct this, I'd really appreciate it!
'What Happens at Midnight - Chapter One: Frälsarenstadt'
The first light of day was just breaking the horizon as I made my way through the village. The only sounds I could hear were the slight stirrings of the waking animals and the soft crunch beneath me as my feet hit the snow covered ground. I walked slowly and carefully down the winding paths, allowing my eyes to wander, soaking up the scenery with every glance. I was not lost or confused; this was my home. I’d lived here my entire life and I knew where every path led, where every secret passage was hidden and a map of Frälsarenstadt was permanently burned into my mind. My heart began to ache as it finally hit me; it was my home and I was leaving it all behind. I pulled my long, dark cloak around me as I shuddered from both the cold and the realization that I was really running away from Frälsarenstadt; my home, my family, and the life I’d known for sixteen years.
There something beautiful and timeless about the village; but be warned that looks can be deceiving. Frälsarenstadt was settled over five hundred years ago, and many of the medieval buildings still stood in the outskirts of the town. The centre of the village had been changed to display a more suburban appearance, with many houses close together, and a busy shopping district. Even so, these houses still appeared old, and some cases grand. Internally, however, many of our homes were just as technologically updated as any other western society. The village was nestled in a small valley, and the hills surrounding it were covered in lush forests. The village itself was also filled with plants as many of us loved to garden.
I halted at the gates of the town’s cemetery, which was located towards the south of the village. I couldn’t leave Frälsarenstadt without first saying goodbye to my sister. I breathed out deeply and watched it turn to vapor in the cold air, before putting my hand on the gate and pushing it open. The cemetery, despite the constant reminder of death, was quite peaceful and in fact very beautiful. It was well looked after, with flowerbeds in many places, and willow trees providing a second fence. The upper left area of the cemetery grounds was reserved for seating as many people came here to think. There were areas reserved for graves as well as buildings for those who had chosen to be cremated. I made my way along the pebbled path to the far left of the cemetery grounds. My pace quickened as the tree my sister’s memorial plaque had been placed under came closer into my line of vision.
I say memorial plaque because my sister’s body had never been found. Remember what I said about looks being deceiving? Frälsarenstadt was not a normal village, and the people who had settled it had not been normal either. It had been settled by a tribe of people called the Einar and while the name was of Scandinavian origin, the people purely not. Some had indeed come from Scandinavian countries, but many other came from several different European nations, all united with the one goal; to rid the world of supernatural evil. They had been chosen by a force, and given special gifts to help combat these creatures. The tradition and gifts were still carried on today, with many of us being trained to fight the creatures that were active at midnight. We didn’t actively go out a hunt them; we allowed them to live their lives. Our job was to keep the secret of the paranormal world from the mortal world, and stop creatures from killing too many humans. Some refer to us as guardians, keepers, or to a lesser extent, saviours. That is how the village had earned its name. My ancestors had considered themselves saviours, and by combining the Swedish word for saviour, and the German word for town, Frälsarenstadt was born. Naming the village ‘saviour town’ in English was obviously far too obnoxious.
When creatures did make their existence obvious, Einar would investigate. Five years ago, my sister along with a few others, were investigating a clan of vampires who’d started making a meal of too many people in the one place. One night she went missing, and never came back. The others made an attack on the clan’s hideout, and took the opportunity to ask questions. They were told that my sister had been completely drained and killed, and while the Einar had successfully completed the mission, they came back saddened to have lost one of their own.
For awhile we held onto the hope that maybe she was still alive, maybe she had just left, and the vampires had lied in order to hurt the Einar people. We held on to the hope that she was out there, somewhere. Eventually we had to accept that she wasn’t coming back. Five months later, instead of hosting her twentieth birthday, we held a funeral service. I hadn’t visited the plaque that marked her life and death since the service. No matter how much my mother had pushed me; I believed there wasn’t any point. My sister wasn’t there, it gave me know comfort to talk to piece of metal and stone in the ground. Even if her body had been found, it still wouldn’t be comforting. How could I talk to a soulless body in the ground?
I shook my head; despite my beliefs, here I was, on the last day I’ve ever spend in this village, visiting this meaningless item. I sat down beside the plaque and used my hand to wipe the snow away; the urge to read what was written on suddenly overcoming me.
I resisted the urge to kick at the plaque in annoyance and settled for kicking around the snow instead. It irritated me; how was it a good fight if so many people were to die?
“Hello Astrid,” I started, surprised to hear the words coming from my mouth. I frowned at how ridiculous it was to be talking to the plaque, but startled at how comforting it seemed at the same time.
“A long time ago, after you died, mother suggested I come here to talk to you. I didn’t listen, I thought it was pointless, and to be honest I still do.” Then why are you here? The wind seemed to whisper to me.
“I miss you, I guess, and mother is right, this is only bit of you left,” I traced the words of the plaque with my fingers before snatching my hand away quickly.
“Where are you?” I demanded of the plaque, fighting away tears. “I miss you, I need you. Things haven’t been the same since you died…” I took a deep breath in order to collect my thoughts.
“Mother and father started fighting again, after we heard you’d died. Worse then what they used to.” I thought of my mother and how she had become so tired and fragile since the death of my sister. I remembered all the fights they’d had over the years, and my father’s recent revelation that he’d been having an affair. That woman was now carrying his child, and he apparently loved her more.
“Father wants a divorce,” I sighed, “And mother is willing to give it to him; he cheated.” I looked down at my hands, which I had returned to my lap. While this problem had deeply upset me, it wasn’t the biggest issue going through my head.
“I’ll be completely finished of my training soon, but I’ve already been out on the field. I had my first mission last week, and something terrible happened.” I stopped myself, unsure of how to put the attack into words. I tried to instead think of something else.
“Why did you leave?” I sighed, allowing the tears to fall. I pulled my cloak even tighter around myself, it had begun to snow. I was so wrapped in my feelings that I did not hear the footsteps until the person was right behind me.
“Sylvia,” Called a voice that I recognised as my mothers, with her strong
Irish accent. I held my head up, but I didn’t turn to look at her. I stayed kneeling beside the plaque. Now that I was concentrating, I heard her walk closer behind me.
“I had a feeling I might find you here,” Came my mother’s strong Irish accent. I stood up, whirling around to face her, taking in everything about how she looked; this would be the last time I saw her. It made me sad, not just because I was leaving, but because my mother was not who she used to be. She’d always been slim, but now she was thin to the point of frail, and her once luscious, wavy auburn hair had started to go white, almost blending in with the snowflakes that had landed in her hair. She was only forty eight. Her mossy green eyes flickered to the back pack that sat at my feet.
“You thought I’d be here, even though I haven’t stepped foot in this part of the cemetery since Astrid’s funeral?” I asked, keeping my voice polite. I tried to ignore the fact that I had been caught in my attempt to runaway.
“No, I felt it. Call it mother’s intuition.” She smiled lightly as me, before looking back down at the back pack. I lowered my head. This was not going to be an easy escape.
“Are you planning to leave us, Sylvia?” My eyes remained staring at the ground, I was unsure of how to answer. I didn’t want to hurt when she’d experienced so much pain already. However, I had no other choice. Giving up wasn’t something the Einar did, but if I stayed here I would be risking the lives of everyone I knew. If I stayed here, I was as good as dead. I wish I had volunteered to go on that mission.
“Yes,” I muttered in reply, after what seemed like a long time. I told the truth because my mother could tell if I was lying, and that would hurt her more.
“Why?” She demanded, while her body may have seemed weak, her voice certainly wasn’t. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, a sign of my uncomfortable feelings.
“I can’t stay here anymore.” I said simply, why couldn’t it be enough?
“So you’re going to be selfish and leave your family, what about Marcus? He’s already lost one sister!” She exclaimed, and I released a sob. Marcus, my younger brother was only eleven years old; the age I was when Astrid had died. He was young, untainted, with golden curls surrounding his small, always laughing face and his eyes were like sunlight. Would he hate me if I left him? Would he understand why I had to go? Or would he hate me even more knowing what I now was?
“What about your responsibility, your duty? All that training, you are going to leave it all behind? You’re almost graduated, two more months and you’ll be a fully qualified Einar Keeper,” She was now shaking with rage, and I wondered if I could trust her enough to tell her what had happened to me on the mission. She was my mother, she had to understand.
“I can’t be Keeper, mother.” I sobbed. What if she hated me?
“Any why not?” Her nostrils flared, and her cheeks had become as red as her had once been. I was worried she’d collapse, but at the same time her rage seemed to give her strength.
“I am cursed,” There was no way around it, and perhaps, if she knew what I really was, she’d disown me, and I’d have to leave.
“Cursed?” Her breathing became sharper. I lifted my shirt in response, revealing the mark I’d managed to keep hidden from everyone for over a week. She gasped as I traced the faded teeth marks that had scarred the left side of my torso. The wounds had almost healed; a positive aspect of what I was becoming. I guess there is always a silver lining.
“What happened?” My mother asked, even though she already knew the answer.
“I was bitten on the mission to control the werewolf pack last week, nobody else in the group saw it and I didn’t tell anyone either. I don’t want to die, mother.” I cried.
“No one would kill you, not unless…”
“Unless I exposed my secret to the mortal world by killing too many in the one area or killed someone in the village; I know. That why I’m leaving; to isolate myself so I can’t hurt anybody ” What I did not add, was that although it was true that Einar would not touch me unless I was considered a threat, there could have been someone in the village that might believe that I needed to be put out of my misery. I didn’t have to voice this however, as my mother already knew. Becoming a werewolf or a vampire was considered a fate worse than death; but I didn’t want to die, I wanted to learn to control what I was. I had to leave though, to prevent myself from hurting someone I cared about.
“I have to leave, mother, you have to understand. I can’t risk hurting you, or Marcus, or Hadrian and Althea.” Hadrian and Althea had been my best friends since I was much younger, we’d done everything together, shared everything with each other, and it hurt knowing that I had to keep this secret from them, that I had to go on this journey alone. My mother’s eyes were closed, and she was breathing slowly trying to calm herself. Finally, she opened them, and they sparkled with tears that she fought hard not to shed.
“I understand,” She said before walking over and enveloping me into a hug. Neither of us could fight it any longer and we cried as we hugged.
“You must go,” She established as she released from the hug. “Leave, now, I won’t tell anyone in the village that I saw you, nor will I mention… the accident.” I nodded.
“Thank you,” I said as I grabbed my bag. We shared one last smile before I walked back the way I’d come. Once I’d reached the gate of the cemetery, I ensured that my back pack was secure before I began to run.
My name is Sylvia Carlisle, and today was the day that I ran away from my home, and never looked back.
'Chapter Two - Five Years Later'
I rushed from my car park, already feeling myself already begin to sweat in the intense humidity. It wasn’t even eleven o’clock in the morning, and the temperature had to have already been in the late twenties. Although this was my third summer in Australia, I still hadn’t gotten completely used to the heat. What made my sweat situation worse was that I was practically running from the car park, to get to work on time. I was never usually this late to start work; but then again I never usually worked on the day of the full moon either. Plus I usually had more notice, but I’d gotten a call from one of the other girls who need to swap a shift. She’d had a family emergency, and she was going to work my shift on Friday for me, while I worked today’s shift for her. I was the only one who could do it, so I agreed.
I slowed down my pace as the restaurant I worked at came in to view. It was called Loretta’s, and stepping into it was like stepping back into time. It had been a combination of fifties, sixties and seventies style, with the occasional eighties element here and there. It served as a restaurant during the day, but acted as a club on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. I waved to Ashley, one of my co-workers, as she walked around ensuring that the tables were all set. She waved back and I continued my way to the stairs that lead to change rooms. As I walked in another co-worker named Naomi was walking out. She was my closest friend in Australia.
“"You're just a little bit burnt," Naomi remarked with a playful grin as we passed each other. I stopped and looked down at my red, sun burnt arms; a little bit did not begin to cover it. I’d spent the equally as hot day before in my garden, forgetting yet again to apply sunscreen. My mother had been English-Irish, with red hair, green eyes and pale skin with freckles to boot. My father had brown hair and dark eyes, and while his skin was light, thanks to his distant Northern European background, he had inherited the ability to tan somewhere in the line. The end result in me was light brown hair, hazel eyes and fairish skin that could tan when the temperature was just right. However, as soon as it hit over thirty, I would burn like a marshmallow that had been left on the fire for too long.
“I was gardening yesterday,” I offered as an explanation, and Naomi rolled her eyes and I laughed. She’d become accustomed to my constant going out in the sun without sunscreen, and had stopped trying to tell how bad it was for my skin a long time ago. Being a werewolf meant I recovered a lot quicker from flesh wounds and the damaged cells from sunburn or tan would heal themselves within a few days and my skin would return to normal.
“You’re not going to be laughing when you have skin cancer,” She was only half serious, as she knew she was just as bad with the amount of cigarette’s she smoked in a day. I gave her a large grin before making my way into a change room to change from my singlet and shorts into my uniform.
I worked as a waitress and cashier at Loretta’s, and my uniform consisted of a pale green v- neck shirt, with a small logo above my left breast, tucked into a high waisted black skirt that came to just above the knees. I wore solid black shoes to avoid hurting my feet, and a name badge was to be pinned just below the Loretta’s logo. After I’d changed, I threw my normal clothes in locker and grabbed my hair brush. Left out, the longest part of my hair was just beginning to touch my waist. I pulled it into a high pony tail, and after making sure my make up wasn’t smudged, I was ready to start work. The whole process had only taken about ten minutes.
Walking down the stairs, I could hear that the restaurant had already started to fill with the lunch rush customers. Loretta’s was tucked in an alleyway surrounded by tall buildings in the west of Melbourne’s Central Business District. It was a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, with many people coming in during their lunch breaks. It always grew busy at this time but was often quiet before and after. Personally I liked it better when it was quiet, I am not much of a people person, but something had drawn me to the job here.
“Sorry, I’m a bit off today.” I was off during the time of the full moon. My body was preparing itself for the change and it left me sluggish, easily distracted and sometimes grumpy. She shook her head; her short blonde curls formed a fuzzy halo around her head.
“That’s alright; I know you don’t usually work this day.” Amanda didn’t exactly know that I was a werewolf as admitting it to her would be suicide, but I knew she suspected something of me. Amanda was what had drawn to the job at Loretta’s, or at least, her spirit had. There was something powerful about Amanda, and my Einar senses suspected her of being a witch or psychic. She obviously sensed something similar in me, as she allowed me to stay in the apartment above the restaurant before I’d found my own home, and hired me without interview when I’d arrived here in the middle of winter coming up to four years ago.
“You’re doing it again,” Amanda interrupted my thoughts again, and apologized again. She waved her hand in dismissal, it wasn’t bothering her.
“How about you go serve some tables, it’ll make you concentrate.” I nodded in agreement, picking up a pen and pad and headed to the nearest table. It only had one person on it, a guy who couldn’t be much older than me. He wore mostly black; baggy black jeans, black converse, and black shirt. His black shirt was open, revealing a white singlet. He had a full head of shaggy dark hair, and I couldn’t see his face because he was playing with an old iPhone 5. I made a slight cough noise before a spoke, so I didn’t startle him.
“Welcome to Loretta’s, how may I help you?” I said, starting off the day quiet cheery. He looked up, and as cliché as this may sound, I swear his eyes pierced my soul. They were a vivid, but not solid blue, starting of quite light and almost grey around the pupil, before getting bluer, ending in a dark ring. They were the most unique eyes I’d seen on anybody. While the first expression on his face seemed cold because he’d been surprised, his face quickly changed to appear happier, and he smiled at me while he ordered.
“Just the classic burger, some chips and can of coke please,” His accent was definitely Australian. I smiled.
“Sure! That’ll be about ten minutes,” I told him and he nodded. I walked away to give the order to the chef. The sudden noise of the bell as the draw opened attracted my attention, normally it wouldn’t but something told me I had to look at who it was. Turning my head to the noise, I noticed a girl who looked a few years older than me standing awkwardly in front of the entrance door. She appeared to be taking in her surroundings, making sure the door she had opened had brought her into a restaurant and not a lion’s den. Well, at least that is how she looked to me. The girl, or more correctly woman, was relatively short; she was thin in a naturally petite way and had a small face with short dark hair that fell to just below her chin. Her face held a worried expression, which was what had made me think of her being afraid that she’d walked into a lion’s den. I was the only one to notice her though, everyone else was eating food or sharing mindless gossip, or in the waitresses case delivering the food and ignoring the things that they heard. I waved for her attention and when she saw me her expression changed from worry to relief. She made her way to where I was standing behind the counter, carefully avoiding tables and people, yet still taking in everything she saw. I made the trip easier for her by meeting her half way.
“How can I help you?” I asked with a smile on my face when she arrived at the counter.
“Well, I noticed you had a poster in the window, asking for applications, so I was wondering if I could hand in my resume.” I noticed a document in her hand that I assumed was her resume. Ashley had announced her pregnancy a few weeks ago, and Amanda had decided to employ someone else early in so that they could be fully trained in time for her to go on maternity leave. The girl standing before me has been the first one to apply in the whole time the poster had been up.
“Yeah, sure I’ll take it and give to the manager.” She smiled and handed me the document, and brief glance at it told me her name was Natalie.
“Thank you,” She said, before taking a closer look at me. “I like your contacts,” She commented, and for a moment I was confused. And then it clicked, and I played along.
“Thanks,” I responded with a smile, “Can I help you with anything else?”
“No, I just wanted to drop my resume in, I best be on my way, have a great day.” I wished her the same as she left, and then headed to Amanda’s office to give her Natalie’s resume. She took it, looking excited at the prospect of being able to hire somebody new.
Before I knew it, the lunch rush was over. In that time I’d given the blue eyed guy his burger and he revealed his name was Zachary. I also served many other customers.
This message was edited by the author on January 14, 2013 at 1:15:57 AM
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