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By:Samuel R. Dutton(pen name)
Chapter Zero: How it all started…kind of.
A city glows under a dark sky that is littered with stars that can barely be seen because of the cold light produced by the hands of men. People crowd the streets either doing business with traders or going to the local tavern to forget about the trials of life. In some part of the city a massive train roars through the station with a lone figure on top. Almost like a gargoyle he waits on the roof a train car and is steady as a rock despite the rushing wind. He is silhouetted by the dark of the night and is only revealed by the slices of light that pass by. He shifts slightly and grabs the hilt of what seems to be a blade. A bridge passes over him and when the train exits from this temporary abyss he's gone.
Wait! Wait, wait. This is too far into the story to actually begin. Lets start a bit further back so that not to confuse you dear reader. "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Wait! I've gone too far back! Sorry dear reader, I just don't know how to start this story. It's one filled with love, horror, light, darkness, and all those things that are good and bad. Right now you're probably raising an eyebrow or two wondering if you're really reading a fiction novel written by a young teen author, or if you're reading the random writings of some caffeine high teenager who is just writing down his thoughts. Well it's a combination of the ladder and of the first suggestion. I just don't know how to put it. I know this is probably frustrating you because you as the reader want to go on in the story and here I am stalling it. So I guess I should start somewhere in the middle…maybe I should just start with how the main character ends up being the main character. Yeah…that sounds good [cracks knuckles and prepares to write.]. Okay…so with out further hesitation and delay I will make amends to you my reader. I will bring you to a world of mystery and of adventure, where a sacrifice must be made for all to live. To delve into the realms of light and dark and to find what a true heart is like. Dear reader, I now bring you chapter one how it really started… (P.S.: I hope that you haven't stopped reading, you'll be missing out on an awesome story.)
Chapter One: How it really started.
Where our story starts is right here, in Revere, MA. To be more precise in a high school classroom in Revere Mass, in December, near the end of the school day. Our soon to be main character is in class right now and he is taking notes for history. His name is Axel Volte and he is a seventeen-year-old sophomore in a high school, in Revere Mass. He's our main character and this is his story. Shaggy black hair that's tied back in a ponytail covers his head along with scruffy black facial hair that has taken root in his pale face. Dark green eyes are hidden behind his glasses, which he constantly pushes up his nose. He's 5'2, short for his age and is constantly referred to as "hobbit" or "Frodo". His Converse clad feet barely touch the ground unlike his dark blue jeans, which he has to wear a belt with or else he would be hitching his pants up all day. A too big Old Navy, black sweater covers his torso and the sleeves cover his hands almost like gloves. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Revere. From what I'm describing this isn't the character you have expected, yeah…he doesn't seem like "hero" material. But neither were a lot of people in history, like…*wracks brain for information* King David. He was just a kid when he was chosen to be king. And our hero Axel, though he is not as young as King David was, he is young nonetheless. Any who back to the story. Axel was, as I've said before, taking notes in history class when his world, which was already turned upside down from his parents divorce, turned in all directions.
In the room of Mr. Harvey, the history teacher, all you could here was the scratching of pencils and of the voice of the said history teacher. "And so! With the defeat at Gettysburg-," Said Mr. Harvey who was going into one of his excited passions until he was interrupted by the ringing of the classroom phone. "One moment class," He sighed and picked up the phone from its receiver. "Hello, Todd Harvey." He said and after a few mumbles and "I sees" he hung the phone back on the receiver and turned to the class. He focused his attention onto our main character Axel. "Mr. Volte," said Mr. Harvey, as soon as the teacher spoke Axel's head bolted upright.
"Yes Mr. Harvey?" Said Axel.
"You are wanted in the office." Said Mr. Harvey.
Axel looked a bit puzzled and the class "ooohhhhed" jokingly in the back round.
"Why sir?" Asked Axel who was now getting out of his seat and walking slowly to the door.
"I can't say in present company, but I'm sure someone will fill you in when you get to the office." Said the teacher as he silently hushed the mass of students in his room. Axel then nodded his shaggy head and walked out of the room and then down a hall that lead to the Main Office. Thoughts raced threw Axel's complex and puzzling head. Things like, "Is everything alright?" or, "Did something happen to Mom?" he shuddered at the thought of something terrible happening to his mother. He was awoken from his thoughts when he bumped into the door of the Main Office. "Ow," he mumbled as he pushed his glasses up his nose and rubbed it gingerly. Axel shakily opened the office door and walked past the Secretary's desk and straight to the Head Master's office. He knocked on the door his heart pounding in his ears. He silently he prayed that everything in his already broken world would be okay. He saw the Head Master, Tim Ayrhart, sitting behind his desk looking professional as usual. He looked up from his paper work and gesture that Axel sit down. "You wanted to see me Mr. Ayrhart?" Axel said as moved towards the chair sitting down and trying to be relaxed. Mr. Ayrhart sighed and rubbed his clean-shaven chin as he got up from his desk.
"Yes…we got a call from the hospital," he paused as he saw the look of terror on Axel's face. A small smile of compassion crept across the Head Master's middle-aged face. "Don't worry she's alright, the doctors said she had a nervous breakdown and needed to be hospitalized." But everything was not okay. Axel didn't hear the rest of what Mr. Ayrhart said. Axel's already broken world was now being turned to ashes before his very eyes. All he saw was himself in his minds eye falling threw blackness and the weariness of having to repaste his brokenness. Axel though didn't dwell on this for long, for he felt the hand of Mr. Ayrhart shaking his shoulder gently. "Axel!" He called and with that our main character, the boy of no heroic status, was brought back to his cold, hard, reality. "Axel!" The head Master called again, Axel's head jerk and he looked into the gray eyes of Mr. Ayrhart.
"Y-yes Mr. Ayrhart?" Axel stuttered as he realized where he was.
Mr. Ayrhart sighed with relief and walked back to his desk, "You scared me for a second, but I guess it must be hard to deal with the shock." Axel gave no answer except that he was now looking at his Converses. Mr. Ayrhart sighed and began to talk again.
"Your mother said that she wanted you to stay at your friend Melody's house." Axel raised his head with some happiness behind his glasses at the thought of spending time at a friend's house. "Th-thank you for telling me sir." He said in a tiered and muffled voice.
"I'm sorry that you had to hear this news from me. I know it must be hard for you Axel." Mr. Ayrhart said compassionately. The school bell could be heard behind the office door signaling the end of classes and freedom for the students until the next day. "That's the bell, well have a good day Axel. I'll send an email to your teachers to tell them what happened."
Axel mumbled a "Thank you," and walked out of Mr. Ayrhart's office and down the halls back to Mr. Harvey's room to grab his backpack. Mr. Harvey wasn't in the room, "Must be in the teacher's lounge." Axel thought to himself as he hefted his pack onto his left shoulder. Axel then walked out of the classroom and to his locker. Where he'd get his jacket and hopefully catch Melody, whose locker was right next to his, and tell her what, happened. Down a few more halls and corridors, he heard the laughs and the commotion of the students whose lives were happy or were normal compared to his. Cheerleaders and jocks congregated in groups, as did the all the other social cliques. Axel sighed wanting to desperately to have just a "normal" life like them, but that wasn't going to happen. He finally reached his locker, which was jammed and squished between all the other ones in the school. He unceremoniously dropped his backpack to the floor and twisted the lock to fit his combination. The lock clicked and the locker door sprang open. He was about to grab his coat until someone tackled him from behind.
"Axel-chan!" shouted a friendly, female voice, which he could tell was Melody's beyond a shadow of a doubt. "Oofff!" grunted Axel as the wind was knocked out of him from Melody's tackle. He lurched a bit forward and almost hit his head against the inside shelf of his locker.
"Mel," he groaned, "get off of me."
"You know you like it!" she said gleefully. "Any who, my mom texted me saying you're staying over our house for a while."
"Yeah, we'll have fun…" Axel said as his voice trailed off.
Melody was a sophomore like Axel in school they shared some classes like English and Math. But more importantly she was his best friend since he moved to Revere eight years ago. She was two inches taller than Axel, but was younger than him by a year. She had beautiful long brown hair and bright blue eyes, along with a slim figure and slightly tanned skin. She looked like a cheerleader, but had the heart of lioness. Melody let go of her friend and forced him to face her. "Hey," she said in a caring voice, "what's up?"
Axel looked at her beautiful face behind steamed glasses, strands of his shaggy black hair hung over his scruffy face. "M-my m-mom is-is…" Was all that he could say before his shoulders began to shake and tears begun to flow. Melody didn't reply with words but wrapped her arms around Axel's small, heaving body. Axel felt soft fabric against his skin, as well as hair and a fruity smell, "Green apples, maybe." Axel thought to himself.
Melody whispered in his ear, "It'll be okay Axel." She held him close and Axel returned the embrace along with incoherent sniffles and whimpers. After a few minutes Axel ended the embrace and sighed heavily. He took his glasses off and wiped the lenses on his sweater.
"Thanks, I needed that." He said in a congested voice as he wiped his runny nose against the back of his sleeve. Melody smiled and gave Axel another quick hug; he blushed not because he was embarrassed, but because of the secret feelings that he had for Melody. But he knew it would never work out. Even though they were both anime and video gaming nerds, and friends for a very long time, "It…well wouldn't just work." He thought to himself as the hug from Melody ended.
"When we get to my house we'll watch Advent Children, Okay?" She said giving Axel a warm smile.
"Yeah, sounds like fun," Axel said smiling back tiredly as he grabbed his jacket from his locker and picked up his backpack from the ground. He closed his locker and then turned to Melody before leaving. "I guess I'll see you when I get to your house?" He said, from what Axel was saying he just wanted to be alone when he was walking to Melody's house.
"Yeah, sure. My mom left the backdoor open so that you get in." She said giving our almost hero another hug.
Axel whispered a "Thank you," and walked out of the school out into the winter wonderland. He tightened his black wool jacket around him as he walked against the grain of the blowing winds. Snow started to fall as he walked down School Street and sighed to himself now wishing he brought a hat to cover his head. "Oh well, at least Mel's house is only one more street down from here." He thought to himself. As he was walking across the street a man from behind bumped into Axel hard. "Watch where you're going!" Shouted Axel, but the man just kept on walking and then it dawned on Axel. He slapped his pockets to see if his wallet was still there and to his dismay it wasn't. A feeling of rage mushroomed in his mind. He yelled at the top of his lungs and chased after the pickpocket. The man was a good twenty feet ahead of Axel, but he didn't care. Blind rage filled his mind as snowflakes were splattered against his glasses like bugs on a windshield. They dashed through ally ways and down streets until Axel saw the man run into an abandoned church. "Now…I've…got you." He panted as Axel opened the Iron Gate and slowly jogged after the thief.
Axel opened the old wooden doors. They creaked and sounded like they were about to fall off their hinges. He walked in huffing and sweating a bit. Stands of hair stuck to his sweat beaded face, even thought it was tied back in a ponytail. "Where…are you!" He cried out into the darkness of the church. The air was musty and hung almost like a veil in the air. Axel opened his eyes to their fullest extent trying to see in the darkness. He searched the main hall and could make out to his left and right that there were staircases leading up to the sanctuary. There was a flash of white light to his left and a strange sound, like a song, a far off lullaby that seemed to call him up to the sanctuary. Axel, in the pit of his stomach felt that something was wrong.
He tried to stop his legs from moving up the stairs, but the lullaby just pulled him forward. Slowly he moved up the stairs listening to the melody that engrossed him. His heart pounded in his chest and in his ears. His brain constantly sent out thought waves saying, "This isn't right! This isn't right!" but his heart whispered, "Just one more step, just one more." Finally what seemed to be an eternity Axel reached the top of the staircase and to a pair of swinging double doors. He pushed the wooden doors gently so that they wouldn't squeak. As of now he could feel his heart in his throat, pounding away wondering what he'd find on the other side of these doors. A dim, but pulsating light broke the darkness that Axel was used to and he found that he was now in the enormous sanctuary of the church. He squinted his eyes trying to adjust to the light. A moldy carpet path covers the floor along with termite bitten pews. Axel walked on the path ignoring the musty smell, his Converse covered feet thudded softly as he walked towards the pulsating light he saw. The center of the light slowly formed a door with a golden archway and instead of the thief that Axel saw there was an old man clothed in a dark green robe. Axel was now walking up the isle the melody growing louder in his head and he now heard a woman's voice…his mother? Maybe, he remembered when his mother would sing to him when he was little. But what was the song that was playing in his head right now? "This sounds so…" he stopped thinking about the song as he realized he just ten feet away from the door and the cloaked man. The man had a hood covering his face and even with the door giving off the light Axel could only see a grey beard. The hooded man looked at Axel from under his hood and Axel felt his gut clench. The old man lifted his hand and tossed him something. Axel instinctively caught the wallet and opened it to make sure the contents were undisturbed.
"You are chosen." Said a dry voice that originated from the cloaked man.
Axel answered back scared and confused. "Chosen for what?" he shouted, but the old man didn't reply. He opened the door and walked threw it. Thoughts raced through Axel's mind. "Should I go?" or "Should I stay." Axel shook his head and shouted in frustration. "I don't want to be chosen!" Angry tears filled his eyes, but he wiped them away. Another wave was about to start until he heard another voice.
"Axel, honey." It said.
Axel almost broke down, that was his mother's voice. He had to be dreaming now. He looked in the direction of the voice and to his great disbelief he saw his mother.
"Mom…?" he said in disbelief, a lump grew in his throat. It was his mother, he could tell because he looked like her.
"Yes honey it's me." She said smiling her arms open wide.
Axel ran to her and embraced his mother and felt her soft blue sweater against his tear stained face.
She stroked his shaggy head, "Honey, I need you to be brave for me, okay?" she whispered to him.
Axel looked up to his mother's face, his face only feminine and smoother. "What do you mean mom?" he asked.
She gave him a sad smile and kissed his forehead, "I wish I could tell you honey, but you have to find out." Axel looked at the door and then back to his mother.
"I don't understand." He said with slight confusion.
"None of us do until we go out boldly." She said with the same sad smile and with that she was gone. Axel stood alone again in the church sanctuary staring at an opposite wall that was yards away. He then turned to face the golden arched door, took a deep breath, walked up to the door and pushed its wooden surface and stepped through. There was blinding light and then there was darkness. And Axel Volte, who was this morning a sophomore in high school, who just found out his mother, was in the hospital, knew no more.