Sorry for the late linky, everyone! I've the pleasure of hosting Friday Fiction this weekend, as I haven't had the chance to send out the dates for sign up yet. Anyhow, to join in the fun, just add the link to your story in the widget below! Don't forget to read and comment--we all love the feedback. Happy reading!
Author's Ramblings: This is one of the summer projects I've been working on. A little island world, where one girl is searching for her siblings, living with her disgraced mother and the most unusual of superpowers. It's a character sketch/prologue sort of, for Chalika Dolsane. Anyhow, apologies for the late post and all. I hope you enjoy the read. It is slightly different from my usual fantasy posts. Enjoy!
THE MONSTROUS FIVE : CHALIKA DOLSANE
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Category: Adventure, Family, Mystery
Sometimes I really don’t know when to keep my mouth shut.
Yeah, I know, the warning signs are always there, but since when do I, of all people, actually pay attention to them?
Yes, yes, yes, I know.
If I hadn’t said such outrageous things within earshot mother, I would not be in this particular—erm—position right now. It’s a stupid one. A really stupid one. I hate it.
It does not matter if it is my own fault.
Alright, well, perhaps it does, but I do not wish for it to be.
It is not like I can control this.
As I always have.
But she knows me too well and so do the Lords and Ladies at court.
Far too well.
And I suppose this is why she chose such a humiliating punishment. She knows what it does to me. She always knows and it’s only because of that look. One look and a sigh and my world crumbles.
It was honestly just a prank.
Alright, fine, it was just my temper running away as usual, but I could not help it! After they said such horrible things about Papa. He is not a monster. He is not some wicked night goblin. He is loyal and faithful.
I do not care what they say of him.
He left only because he could not stay.
They made him go away! He would’ve stayed, he would’ve done everything that he could to stay with us, to protect us, to protect Delveryn. He would never destroy this island, no matter what they say of him, I know this. The same as I know I would never lift a hand to destroy this home, even if it should destroy me.
Ha. I digress.
Perhaps I ought not to have voiced my opinions in the ears of gaping pitchers. I didn’t think that anyone would really be listening, but of course, they’d only take that moment to stop talking.
I can’t believe this.
It’s so annoying.
I hope mother hurries up with the oil. None of the knots will loosen and this worries me. I've never been this tangled before.
I hate the pain.
I don't know how long it will last and that bothers me, because I don't know if I can stay still or silent. But somehow, I think it would hurt worse to speak.
Oh do hurry up, mother, this is torture!
“You’re working your head up in knots, child.” The elegant woman sat at the desk beneath the window. She shifted her chair a few inches to the left. It allowed her line of sight to fall in perfectly with that of the young warrior kneeling on the floor by the hearth, bound in a complicated twist of rope.
Violet eyes glowered at her.
Lady Dolsane Hykerin sighed at her daughter. “You’re supposed to be working your way out of those. You know I cannot help you until this is finished and the longer you stay in them the more it will hurt. Can you still breathe?”
Her daughter chose to hold her silence.
The lady sighed again.
Several hours had passed since the incident at the coronation of Lord Nalesh’s daughter, Aurora. It was a lavish and flashy affair, ruined only by Chalika’s outburst near the end. An outburst that led to the immediate removal of the small Hykerin family.
As for Chalika, the method in which they were evicted was more than disturbing, at least for a young woman able to sprout the thickest and strongest ropes from every joint in her body. She’d learned to control her strange gift, but the ropes sometimes leapt from within at the slightest provocation. It had become a sport of the young men on the island to tie her with her own bindings.
Lady Dolsane pressed her lips tightly together. She had been too late to stay this latest humiliation, but thankfully, no one had interfered when she’d made excuses on her daughter’s behalf and allowed them to be escorted from the premises. She can tell from the labored breaths, that the ropes are responding to Chalika’s tumultuous emotions.
The bonds have grown tighter and more restricted, even though the heat of the flickering flames should be coaxing them to relax.
“I’m sorry!” The words burst from her lips, at last. “I’m sorry, mother. Really. I didn’t mean it. It just sort of slipped out and then, well, I couldn’t help it!”
“You should be.” The three words were ground out, but Lady Dolsane continued with her mixing, saying nothing more. Several glass containers stood on the wooden desk, their contents mixed together in intricate recipe.
The lady turned to glare at her daughter. “What were you thinking, Chalika?”
“Well, obviously I wasn’t thinking at all!” She huffed. “If I had then this wouldn’t have-”
“Do not take that tone with me, young lady. Or you will be more than welcome to talk your way out of this mess yourself. Perhaps your ropes will listen to your rants and whines.”
“I’m not whining!”
“Exactly what part of that isn’t whining?”
“You were in the wrong and you know it.” Soft brown eyes shone with weariness. “Do you never tire of placing yourself in such situations? It is entirely unbecoming for a young lady of your birth and bearing!”
“Of course.” Chalika gave a rather undignified snort to punctuate what exactly she thought of that.
Her mother huffed. “Never mind. I will loosen the knots I can see—the rest you shall have to do on your own and you know it. Now hold your breath and blink when you need to breathe. You’ve waited far too long for this!”
“It’s not like I had any-”
“Chalika.” The name sounds anything but a name with the tone and inflection given by the lady warrior.
Chalika bowed her head. She closed her eyes and waited.
At first, it didn’t seem like anything was happening.Then the tightly wound ropes, shuddered and slackened a mere fraction.
“Did you finish it?” Chalika squirmed.
“Almost.” Lady Dolsane circled her daughter and with nimble fingers undid the surface knots of thick, bound rope restraints. She then retrieved the bowl from the desk and began to pour the herbal oil mixture over her daughter’s head. “I do not know how you manage to work yourself into these things!”
“Believe me, Mother, I do not do it on purpose.” Chalika grimaced. Of all the gifts in the known realms, the only one she would have, would be the useless trick of conjuring rope. The oil helped somewhat though. The thick fat ropes of braid tangling over her upper torso began to shift back into the thick, blonde ringlets of her original form. A hiss escaped her lips.
“Chally?” Lady Dolsane paused. “Is that enough? I did not mix a full bowl, I did not think-”
“My arms.” The young woman grimaced. “I think the ropes of my hair mixed with the ones in my arms—agh!” The scream was soft and muffled when her mother pulled her into an embrace. She shuddered. Feeling returned to her in painful, agonizing bursts. “I hate them.”
“Shh. No, you don’t.”
“I intensely dislike them.” Chalika muttered into the silken shoulder.
Her mother laughed, softly. “As do I.” She stroked the tangled locks of half-blonde hair, coaxing the rough strands back to their smoothed nature. “Promise you won’t hunt them tomorrow?”
Chalika snorted. “What makes you think that-ow!” She flinched at the gentle tug in reprimand. “Fine.”
“Hunt them on the weekend.” Lady Dolsane murmured. “After you have rested and then you can have Eli help you.”
This time, Chalika smiled. She could remember the faces on the nightguards that had landed her in this mess. She would also look forward to the face they’d make when she caught them on her nightly prowls upon the island streets.
(c) Sara Harricharan