The Sacrificed This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 15, 2012
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The City of Centsia sat beside a range of mountains called the Barr, named for their tendency to barricade attacking armies. The city itself consisted of tall buildings, the kind of buildings where you could see the first few floors from the ground and the last from the stars. The material was glass: a greenish kind of glass that made each building twinkle beautifully in the moonlight.

There were two kinds of people in the City of Centsia: the winged and the walkers. The winged were the sacred people, worshipped by all, and the walkers suffered a superfluous amount of disadvantages in their wake. There were blood sacrifices every night, sacrifices made to the winged. Every winged needed a sacrifice, every night. Of course, the ones to be sacrificed were the accused, the people who had disrupted this perfect society with their crimes.

Emerald Hayden was a half-winged. She carried an angelic, beautiful appearance. Her green eyes were large and open to the world, welcoming conversation. Her hair was a warm brown color, the color of melted chocolate in the pot of a good chef. Her lips formed a perfect dainty smile, ever-pleasant and friendly.

Unfortunately, no wings braced Emerald’s back. She was forced to saunter through the same streets as the disgusting walkers, born to die. Most walkers carried disease and almost all of them were accused. They reeked of poison and unhappiness, and they had no aspirations for their futures.
That’s what Emerald had thought.

Dusk was her only winged friend. His eyes were a cool blue and his hair a creamy white. His skin was pasty and eatable. His wings, however, were by far his most striking feature. The feathers formed intricate patterns, almost like pictures, when he spread them out. They were beautiful, and they were the only things that set Dusk and her apart.

At night the two would sit atop the golden building, the only plated building in the entire city. He would take her by the hand and leap from the place unexpectedly, sending her heart racing. As they spread apart, only clasping fingers, it almost felt as if she had wings too. She wasn’t a walker up here. She was a winged.

In the daytime, though, Dusk was separated from her. He would go to his school, somewhere in the sky, and she would go to hers. There were no other half-winged in her school, which she felt was completely unfair. She had no friends here. She would simply sulk in the shadows of her classrooms, opening ancient text and praising the winged.

It was early December when her destiny changed paths. She was hungry, hungrier than she ever had been before. Dusk delivered food to her here and there, but it was against the order, and he was always afraid to be punished. Emerald would scream at him silently for being so foolish. The winged were never punished or accused, no matter what they did. Everyone knew that.

There was a food stall in the center of Emerald’s town. It taunted the villagers: it was covered in salted fish and meat. Delicious oysters and greenery presented themselves to the world. But no one could afford the stall-owner’s prices. No one would dare steal from the stall, though. Everyone who had attempted to was never seen again; accused and sacrificed.

It was late; almost her meeting time with Dusk, and Emerald was determined to take her share. She walked casually past the stall several times before producing a plan: she was to walk past as if heading for the library across the street, and take one of those delicious looking pieces of meat as she went. There it was, a flawless plan, and it would certainly put some good food into Emerald’s stomach.

She breathed deeply several times before beginning her walk across the block. The journey was slow and harrowing: each step felt like miles and miles. Suddenly, the stall was right beside her, and she snatched a piece of that thick red meat.
Her loose shirt became snagged.

Frantically, Emerald tugged at the fabric of her shirt, to no avail. It was obvious what she had been doing. Her fingers were tainted red with blood. She was doomed while she stood there, and eventually surrounded. The winged guards were the scariest winged Emerald had ever seen. Their wings were scarlet red, their faces dark and unforgiving. They never showed mercy, not to anyone.
Something burned her back: the mark of the accused.

“Bring her for blood sacrifice.” One of them declared before turning to her smugly. “Aren’t you happy, Emerald? You made it just in time.”

“Please, don’t do this.” She muttered, scared stiff.

“Oh, you know we always consider the requests of the accused.”

They never did, and Emerald knew it.

Slowly, she was dragged through the twisting roads and finally to the altar, the altar that told stories of death and destruction. It was the altar that people saw before they died, and everyone paid their final respects to the altar.

One of the winged stood before her, behind the majestic altar. “Emerald, you are hereby sentenced to death for your crime as an accused. Actions are decided based on the need to maintain a civil, perfect society. Would you like to meet the one who you will be sacrificed to?”

“Yes, I would.” She said. Why not? It would be the last person she would see, anyways.

Emerald lowered her head to the footsteps of her winged, and when she looked up she was staring into cool, elegant, beautiful blue eyes.

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This article has 88 comments. Post your own now!

addy114804 said...
Apr. 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm
This is amazing. I love how you created an entire world of your own. I know that the best stories never have happy endings and this one proves my point! Great job!!!
SilverSun said...
Apr. 5, 2012 at 10:09 am
I loved the writing because it was comlicated and you created an entire world, all the characters, and a kind of furturistic/magical society. It twisted and turned, and sometimes my heart seriously just stopped. Seriously. I have one thing that would make it a little tiny bit better, although i am going to and do think that this is five stars, I think you should use bigger vocab, for example, beautiful was very frequent. OVERALL, it was BEAUTIFUL! :)
Writer_Jordan replied...
Apr. 5, 2012 at 10:14 am
Ahh you're right it's hard to avoid reusing words to describe something.. even harder in a novel. Thanks for the feedback! (:
SilverSun replied...
Apr. 5, 2012 at 10:20 am
haha. I do that all the time. I obsess with reading my work over and over and over out loud to catch words and cheeck fluency. Quality control, quality control! :) Still cant get over ur stry!
Atl.Braves03 said...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm

This was really good. I think you could have made it a little longer though so you could developed the characters and plot more. Overall I really enjoyed it. Great job!


Writer_Jordan replied...
Apr. 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm
Right, I wanted to make it a short story not a full length novel! Didn't want to get too into it yet=P Thanks for the feedback!
BakeryBoss28 said...
Apr. 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm

This is a valuable piece of work. I honestly think that you have a career. This could make an excellent novel! even though i am not a big Sci-Fi fan, this makes me want to read more of this. Good Job and continue making excellent pieces


Writer_Jordan replied...
Apr. 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm
It's people like you that make me love writing! Thank you so much and I'll check out your work too!
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 1:37 am
Wow... It sounds like the winged men are angelic, I can imagine that. I think the storyline is perfect. Very well done!!! Bravo!!! This is one of my favourite work. Keep on writing. =]
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 1:39 am
Plus,,, please comment on my poem, "Misunderstanding" if you can, thank you so much =]
Writer_Jordan replied...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm
Thank you, and thanks for adding to favorites!! I love it when people like my work (: Commented on your poem and lovedd it
TaurusGal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 24, 2012 at 10:38 pm
This story is very creative.  Also, I love Angels, and you wrote them in a delicate and pretty way.  I think you can make a book out of it.  If I don't buy it, I'll regret.  I just love to know how Emerald and Dusk interact.  It's just exciting. =]"
Writer_Jordan replied...
Mar. 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Thank you so much for all the kind feedback (: People like you motivate me to keep writing. I'll consider making it a full length novel, though I hope dragging things out won't spoil the clarity of the story
Tonia P. said...
Mar. 18, 2012 at 10:42 pm
Awesome=D Keep writing!
NinjaMonster123 said...
Mar. 17, 2012 at 10:48 am
That was really good! I loved the ending!
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm
Oooooh, the ending was incredible, I must say. 
Writer_Jordan replied...
Mar. 17, 2012 at 1:03 am
Thanks! Commented on your poem about birds- your writing style is very mature and professional--like something I'd read in an anthology!
IamtheshyStargirl replied...
Mar. 17, 2012 at 10:34 am
Thanks :D That means a lot :)
Smenge said...
Mar. 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm
This has a great storyline. Are you writing a sequel?
Writer_Jordan replied...
Mar. 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm
I will consider writing a sequel! I originally wanted to keep it denouement because I hate those stories where there's too much information. It leaves nothing to the imagination! But since there's a ton of positive feedback, I think I should (: Thanks for the comment
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