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The Known World Saga: From Far Away Prelude: Memories

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Tic tock, tic tock. These were the sounds from the clock tower that drifted into the train station’s entrance. The large station sat in the focal point of a small town far away in the mountains. With pristine white walls, lovely rose vines growing on its walls and a rust tiled roof the station was this old town’s most gorgeous attraction. Inside the mahogany tile was placed so, when looked at from a distance, it resembled a famous piece of artwork whose name was lost with time. Large archways divided the station into neat, clear sections that indicated where certain trains were and their platforms. The walls were adorned with ancient tapestries that depicted a multitude of things. When counted along with all the rest of the stations in the world, the Trans-Continental Railway Station was in a class all its own.

People milled about the station just like any other day. Many of these people happened to be tourists who, upon seeing the beauty of the station, stopped to gape and even take pictures. But those who were experienced and who saw the station regularly simple strolled to their appointed train and stood on the platform quietly relishing in the beauty that was around them. There was even the occasional station employee stalking about, always grumbling while looking at gold pocket watches saying they were not paid enough, but still obviously enjoying their hectic work lives.

Today there was no depression in the station’s clamor, on the other hand, it seemed as though today the clamor was more so than usual. Near platform thirteen an unusual amount of passengers, instead of being on the nice cozy train sitting on the tracks in front of them, were waiting. While waiting the passenger, like the employees, grumbled about how they were going to be late or that this was a waste of time. For you see, due to an accident occurring on platform thirteen’s train’s pathway, the train was unable to leave the station and the passengers were unable to board their train. The only ones seeming to not be making a huge fuss over the delay was a small family that stood near the train’s first car.

A lovely twenty-seven year old woman, with sunshine growing from her head and eyes of green, stood tapping her foot in a slow rhythmic pattern. Next to her was a burly of a man with a large build and hair like a raven who looked no older than twenty-nine. The woman stood near two relatively small luggages, presumably for her and the man. The couple was still young and in the prim of their years but small gold bands wrapped around their left hand’s binding finger, indicating the two had left their joy years behind to start to become truly grounded. One would think that, after seeing the couple, the two would be taking the train to some secret location as to have a romantic getaway. But that was far from the truth.

Standing next to the young man was a little girl whose tiny hand grasped the man’s forefinger and gently rocked his and her arms back and forth. The little girl was small for her age and had an adorable heart shaped face that made one want to pinch it. The faded red cap she wore hide the sunshine sprouting from her head. As she swayed her faded red coat followed suit and made soft brushing noises as the cloth moved.

Being an extremely curious child the girl always turned her head toward the newest sound her ears caught hold of. She turned her head every which way in order to follow the sounds, never once tiring or complaining that her neck hurt from the strain. Just as she was about to turn to the newest noise her bright, heavy lashed eyes caught sight of something shiny. And to her delight she found that it was her father’s watch, which glistened in the morning’s light, that she had seen. She looked up at her father nervously and saw that he was talking gravely with her mother. Though not able to hear all the words she did manage to hear: hospital, baby, mountains, and her name. Though her parents appeared to be having a heated discussion the little girl could not tell, she was simply happy to be with them.

Loud noises continued to flow through the station an announcer’s voice could be heard saying the accident had been resolved and that boarding would take place soon, there were a small number of cheers. The girl, on the other hand, was no longer paying much attention to the announcer or the cheers--she was more in rapture over her father’s shiny gold watch. She watched as the little hands moved around the clock and how they made, though barely audible, sounds like ticking noises. She continued to stare and as she did she could see that the hands were moving slower than they were just a minute ago. Until, they stopped all together.

The little girl’s face transformed from merrily happy to a mask of wonderment. How can Daddy’s watch stop, she thought.

It was not only her father’s watch that had stopped but the whole station appeared frozen as well. There were no more chattering people, no more noises--not even the ticking from the large clock outside could be heard. The air stilled and as soon as the girl realized no one, not even her parents, were moving, she began wondering why she could. She pondered this and turned to look all around, hoping she would find someone like her, someone free from the spell that had been placed on the station.

Time had stopped, not a soul moved. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw it, movement.

A young man, definitely no older than twenty, stood in the middle of a crowd, staring at her. The man had chestnut hair and piercing cobalt eyes. His hair hung shaggily in his eyes but it appeared it was meant to, not simply unkempt. He wore a strange moss-green tunic with darkly tanned breeches. A smock of dove-grey velvet hung around his shoulders, meant to keep him warm even in the harshest environments. To complete his strange look was feather earrings and a necklace that resembled a teardrop hanging from his neck. When the man’s eyes blinked the girl knew he was free from the spell, just like her.

The man continued to look at her with faraway eyes, as if wanting to approach her but not having the conviction to do so. He remained calm and serene, like a painting, just standing there looking at her thoughtfully.

The girl blinked hard and stared straight at the man with her viridian eyes. Her eyes had dark rings outside of each iris as well as in the middle, her peculiar witch-like eyes. The little girl spoke to the man for the first time in a soft whispery voice.

“Who are you?”

The man’s eyes glowed, but the little girl couldn’t tell whether it was from happiness or surprise. The corners of his mouth turned upward in proud smile.

When the girl blinked again, everything was back to normal, the man had disappeared. People were moving again and the station’s sounds filled the background. The doors to the train opened and the mother and father began picking up their things. When the father moved forward towards the train, he was stopped when his daughter was not moving.

The girl continued to stare at the spot where the man once stood. Her parents turned to look in the direction their daughter was looking but finding nothing, they gave up. The father gently picked up his daughter and moved inside the train. The girl did not resist instead she focused solely on the empty spot. Just as the train doors were closing, the girl thought she saw a feather drop down into the spot where the man had been.





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