Raea Mae - Chapter 1

November 11, 2012
By Snowflakes SILVER, Lichfield, Other
Snowflakes SILVER, Lichfield, Other
6 articles 0 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. - Alice In Wonderland


So this is the first chapter for a book I'm working on :) Honest feedback would be hugely appreciated & If you'd like feedback on your own work, just let me know! Hope you enjoy :D


The author's comments:
Part One
THEN.

I

For a seven year old girl, being alone in such a dangerous world would be considered outrageous. Not anymore. Now, people will turn the other cheek, the few survivors – who aren't cannibals – will take no notice pretending that they don't see the tiny, frail child walking down the broken street in tattered rags and tears that seem to stain her hollow cheeks permanently.
No, at the time, no one cared.
But I couldn't blame them really.
Fear, and grief had taken over every soul surviving.
By the time the almighty war ended, the majority of the world had been literally erased; leaving the rest of us to live in fear of never knowing if we were going to be next; and leaving is to wallow in the grief of loosing the one's that we love, and being trapped on our owns, unsure of what to do in a dead world.
That's exactly how I felt at seven years old. That's how I'd felt most of my life. Since the age of two, all I have felt is fear, with Momma and Papa constantly reminding me that I should be grateful for the life I have been blessed with, seeing as in this day and age we don't know when we're going to die.
But Momma and Papa weren't around when I was seven.
They would be furious to know that I was out in the world at the age of seven, if they were still alive that is.
Back when I was younger, Momma and Papa didn't like me going out, seeing as we lived near all the crazy people. I used to ask Momma why our neighbours were so crazy. She would pull a face and say, “The war gets too much for some people, Raea.” I didn't understand what she meant by that at the time.
In the countryside of Hexham, Britain, where we the three of us lived in our tiny cottage house that Papa had built himself when it was announced that Momma was pregnant with me. He took eight days in total to build the whole house and furnish it; Momma used to tell me the stories about how Papa would slave away, only stopping for a glass of orange juice and a kiss from Momma every other hour before returning to his task of completing the house before I arrived.
Momma was overly proud of him; and so never wanted to leave the house. She wanted to die in the house, old and frail along with Papa.
But neither of them got the chance to grow old.
I lived an isolated life as a child. Momma and Papa were must best friends, and the only other humans that I knew.
I didn't go to school either. Momma would teach me how to read and write, and Papa would teach me basic Math problems. There was no chance for an education when World War three broke out.
With a life like this, I spent most of my time in my room, reading all the books that Momma and Papa had kept over the years. Since technology has continuously increased since the early 2000's, books have more or less drifted from humanity; in the few years before the war, hardly any people had books – except for a few antiques passed down from families.
But Momma and Papa? Momma and Papa have always loved books – the real kind like the Bronte sisters, Shakespeare, Margaret Atwood etc. I read all of them growing up. We didn't have any children’s books in the house, so by the time I reached seven I could read anything, and understand the meaning behind it with my own imagination.
Momma used to say that this showed how creative I was, and we'd often spend times analysing over our favourite books; Papa would come home from work to find us sprawled out on the floor, our heads buried in a book as we discussed the authors motives.
On weekends, when Papa didn't have to work, all three of us would sit in front of our battered old TV, watching the world fall apart before our very eyes. Papa used to tell me about the times that they would watch films on TV's, and how young children used to be able to play video games on the TV.
But not during my time.
There was no happiness on the TV when I was a child; there was only death and madness. We wouldn't watch it for long, only to get the general idea on what was going on in our society.
After watching the misery on the TV, we would get out a board game; in which Momma and Papa would always let me win.
Then, they would take me up to bed, and tell me stories of the times when the world was a happy place, and people could go outside without being frightened for their lives; and smiles could be real and bright.
I would go to sleep, burying myself in the lives that my parents lived; wishing that I could live in those times, and play outdoor safely.
It was a very confined life that I lived, one that possibly would have became too much for me as I got older. I didn't get to explore the mountains that surrounded our house; Papa always forbade that, telling me that I was only permitted to go outside as long as I kept within the fence borders.
But it was never enough for me. I wanted to explore, to experience the world the way that my parents had, and the way that my favourite authors had.
I shouldn't have wished for it; I should have accepted the life I had, and moved on with it.

*

Papa left the day after my sixth birthday. We'd known all along that he would have to go soon, but I wasn't expecting it to happen so fast. I'd noticed that he looked upset throughout the birthday meal that Momma had whipped up (bits of chicken, and a squelch of mash potato for each of us). Although he participated, in his soft, delicate voice with Momma, as they sang me 'Happy Birthday', the light that normally gleamed in his silver eyes, that were so similar to mine, didn't make an appearance the whole night.
Momma has always said that I am a very intuitive child for my age, so it was no surprise when I snook into their bedroom later that night, determined in my stubborn little to mind, to discover what made Papa so upset.
I didn't like seeing Papa upset; he was the strong man of our family, the man that would rather eat a snake than cry pointless tears.
Momma and Papa were curled up in their bed when I entered the room, Mommas head lying on Papa's chest; her blonde hair spilling out all over. I paused in my tracks, frightened on what I had stumbled on. My parents had never been intimate before me, and I certainly didn't want to witness it now, at the tender age of six.
However, Papa only stroked Mommas hair, whispering kind words in her ear, and a loud noise came from Mommas lips.
She was sobbing.
Why? Why was she crying?
“Momma?” I'd called, stepping further into their room as they both raised their heads to appraise me, drinking me in with their desperate eyes as if that moment was the last moment they would ever see me.
The way they looked at me terrified me; and so I was lying in between them in seconds, wanting the comfort of my parents loving arms. They didn't hesitate, I was wrapped in their cocoon in seconds, and I fell into a deep sleep; knowing that when they opened their arms from around me again, the cocoon would be broken. But would I turn into a beautiful butterfly, or something worse?
I awoke that morning, to find that I was alone in the massive double bed that took up the entire space of Momma and Papa's room. I was out of the bed in seconds, racing along the hallway, and thundering my way downstairs, something in my heart telling me that something was wrong.
Something was very wrong.
And then I saw it. Momma standing by our front door, tears streaming down her face as she waved at something in the distance.
My breath caught in my throat. I nudged Momma aside, sprinting out of the front door, knowing that I was breaking Papa's orders by being outside in my nightie, and by leaving the fence.
But at that moment, I simply didn't care. For reasons I didn't understand at that present time, Papa was leaving, and I had to get him back. I just had to.
“Papa!” I screamed, running towards the trees at the bottom of our hill. The trees are the only place that lead to civilisation, so I had no doubt that he would be along a trail somewhere. “Papa!”
A hand clamps down on my arm, and I let out a squeal, thrashing out. “Raea, Raea!” Papa shouts over my shrieks, pulling me into his arms, rocking me back and forth as I sob over and over.
“Why are you leaving Papa?” I asked, angrily wiping at my tear sodden eyes to glare up at the man that had made me feel safe. The same man that was leaving me and Momma behind.
He frowned, brushing my hair out of my house, looking close to tears himself. “I have to leave, Raea Mae. Britain...they need more soldiers. I've got to help, sweetie.”
“No!” I shouted, pushing away from him. He held me tighter, making it impossible for me to escape his vice like grip. “No, Papa, you can't leave me. You can't leave Momma. How will we cope?”
I watched as he swallowed hard, refusing to meet my eyes. “You'll be fine Raea; I have no choice. It is the law.”
“The law, Papa?”
“I have to do it Raea, if not...I...we will get into lots of trouble. It's to keep you and Momma safe, Raea.”
“But when will I see you again, Papa?” I wail, burying my head into his neck as tears stream down my face, showing no signs of stopping as my childhood is being ripped to tiny shreds before my eyes. I feel like a piece of glass that was once complete, and happy, perfect even. And now suddenly, that piece of glass has been hurled to the ground, split into thousands of shards. I know that the glass can be put together; a slither of glue can fix anything, after all. But will the glass ever be the same? Will I ever be the same now that Papa is leaving me?
No. No I definitely won't. I know that as I hold him tight, and he whispers reassurances in my ear. The glue will make the glass look pretty again, but it can never heal the internal cracks.
Nothing can ever do that.
“You've got to be strong, Raea Mae. You've got to take the world by your hands. No matter what happens, don't let anyone get to you, you hear me?”
I nodded my head, frightened by the anxiety and desperation in his tone as I clung to him like a wild animal.
“Say it, Raea Mae. Tell me that you'll be the strong girl that I know you are. Don't you stop reading, don't ever stop smiling Raea Mae.”
“Okay Papa. I won't. I promise.” I vowed, pulling back to look him squarely in the eye, to show him that I would stay strong, for him, I would be happy and brave.
“I'll come back to you, Raea Mae. I promise.” He kissed my cheek, pulling out his white hanky that he always carried around with him, but never used; gently dabbing at my cheeks. When the wetness had evaporated from my cheeks, he placed the fine material into my tiny hands, closing my frail fingers around it. “I'll come back to you, Raea Mae.” He promised one more time, before pushing me toward the direction of the house.
He stood there, in the cluster of trees, watching me as I made my way back to the house. Once I was safely in the barrier of the fence, Papa raised his hand in a wave, and I waved back.
And then, just like the flame from a candle, he was gone.
Momma was in hysterics for the next few days. I stayed strong like I promised Papa. I fed her, I brushed her hair shiny, blonde hair, and I made sure that she was in clean clothes everyday. All the while, she sat in her bed, wearing the same vacant stare, as if her life had left along with Papa.
I felt so alone in those few days.
When I wasn't looking after Momma, I spent a lot of time in my room, curled up in my bed, reading as many books as possible. I read so much, burying myself into the lives of the people of the past, so I could distract myself from how miserable my own present life was.
After a while, Momma slowly came back to me. It was little things to begin with. She would brush her own hair in the morning, and then eventually clean herself, and by the end of a month after Papa had gone, I was hearing her voice again.
It was nice, knowing that she had come back to me.
But nothing was ever the same in our house after that. The absence of Papa was hitting us straight in the face, piercing both our hearts, making us ancient in our minds.
We would watch the TV every night, noticing that his place on the sofa was empty, as we listened in horror for his name to appear on the screen of the dead.
But his name never came up.
After six months, Momma and I were relatively back to normal. We would never heal, that's for sure, but we were...better.
But then I turned seven, and Momma died, and once again, the cycle repeated itself, and the world fell apart.

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This article has 10 comments.


on Dec. 20 2012 at 11:20 am
Snowflakes SILVER, Lichfield, Other
6 articles 0 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. - Alice In Wonderland

Thanks a lot :) Glad to know you liked it! And yes, I'll check out your stuff :) 

OldYoungOne said...
on Dec. 19 2012 at 12:23 pm
I can imagine every little thing told in this piece. I am excited to read the next one.

OldYoungOne said...
on Dec. 19 2012 at 12:11 pm
The emotion jumps from the page and grabs at the innocence in me. I like that it's relatable and that it has correct grammar (unlike me I still need pratice with it). Great job nothing more nothing less............................................ Oh yeah I've got some new stuff posted you mind checking it out?

on Nov. 28 2012 at 4:35 pm
Snowflakes SILVER, Lichfield, Other
6 articles 0 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. - Alice In Wonderland

You see, I was considering this. But the only problem with that is that it's like her writing this story when she's older, if you get what I mean? So I'm not sure if it will work in this case. However, thank you for the advice and comment :) 

on Nov. 27 2012 at 8:19 pm
Atl.Braves03 BRONZE, Tampa, FL, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 77 comments

Favorite Quote:
God is God and I am not
I can only see a part
Of this picture he's painting
God is God and I am man
I will never understand
Because only God is God

I really liked it. You have a firm grasp on grammer too, which is a plus because many of the people here on TI don't.   I do have one suggestion though, and you could take it or leave it. Sometimes, great authors such as Hemingway and O'Connor matched their writing style with the character they were writing about. Maybe, because it's a 7 year old who is narrating, you could incorporate that a little more into it. Just a thought.   Overall, I thought it was really good. Keep writing.

on Nov. 27 2012 at 3:58 pm
Snowflakes SILVER, Lichfield, Other
6 articles 0 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. - Alice In Wonderland

Thanks a bunch :D And I'm not actually sure... It just sort of happened and I don't know how to change it haha :P 

CammyS SILVER said...
on Nov. 26 2012 at 7:26 am
CammyS SILVER, Papillion, Nebraska
5 articles 0 photos 188 comments

Favorite Quote:
No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.
H. G. Wells
Don't say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.
Mark Twain

I loved the story! I really felt like the characters were real. I thought that Papa leaving was so heart-wrenching, and you really wrote it well. Just one question- why is the story in the comments and the comments in the story?

on Nov. 18 2012 at 12:23 pm
Ellie McAdams GOLD, Billingham, Other
13 articles 0 photos 29 comments
aaaah okaii, that makes sense :)

on Nov. 18 2012 at 7:05 am
Snowflakes SILVER, Lichfield, Other
6 articles 0 photos 91 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. - Alice In Wonderland

Thank you :) and that comes later on in the story - she basically keeps looking back on her life throughout it. It's such a main part of the story that I wanted to include it later on :) 

on Nov. 17 2012 at 4:56 pm
Ellie McAdams GOLD, Billingham, Other
13 articles 0 photos 29 comments
This actually made me cry, especially when the dad left. I loved it! Only critisism is I think you could have explained how the mother died before ending it, but I'll definaely read the next one :)


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