Black and Gold Chapter 1

Abigail McDowell, Dedicated Writer

“Hello?” I asked as I walk into the cold empty store in the dead of night. The store from the outside looked like it used to be a Safeway the inside still had probably expired chips, and tables with chairs stacked on them, I could notice that there were a few chairs laying astray but I was in here, per my mother’s dying wish. Suddenly, I heard a rustling. I spun around on my heels. “Who’s there?” I asked, my voice bouncing off the walls. 

Suddenly I remembered what my mother had told me to say when I got here, however silly it sounded. “In the night, shadows can come out,” I say, and this time the room lights up in blue. As a person steps out of the center of the room, their face illuminated, deep red streaks across their face, with horns spiraling up, as blades of shadows surround them.  “W-what are you?” I asked. 

It chuckled, “I am a being of quite eternal living.” It reached a hand out to me. “And you are?” 

I took a deep breath in. “I am Clara, and my mother sent me.”

He smiled, “Your mother was told not to tell you anything.” 

How odd. I wonder if he can tell what I’m thinking? I shuddered, at just the thought of it.  

“Yes, I can read your mind. You will learn many things that most of us can do”  The man says. 

 

“Yeah.. and that is?” I ask, skeptical. 

“Atom manipulation, telepathy, telekinesis” he answered. 

I snorted. “Those are just fantasy’s for little kids.”  then I considered the first one, most little kids wouldn’t think of that one.

At that statement, his smile widened. “It is much more than that, after all, what better way to hide the existence than making it known” I furrowed my eyebrows. 

“That still doesn’t explain why I am here” I point out. 

His smile fades. “That I can’t tell you, not until we go to the garden of secrets.” He holds out his hand, and I hesitantly grab it. As soon as our hand’s touch I see my surroundings fade away, one object at a time. I shut my eyes after the first few objects faded, anticipating that I would get dizzy, and after a minute or two, I felt someone poke me.

 

“You can open your eyes now,” The man said. I open my eyes to A luxurious garden of grass encircled by a sundry of hedges and bushes. A fountain stands near the left edge of the garden, offering a welcome bath for birds. The flower beds are unkempt, but look all the better for it; they’re growing in all sorts and sizes. The hedges and bushes reach high, but this is unusual, and perhaps unique to this garden. Vines compete with each other for the best and the most land in the garden, each eager to claim it all. The fountain is the main centerpiece of the garden and was specifically designed to be this. The flower beds certainly attract attention too, and the hedges and bushes make sure they’re paid attention to as well. 

 

I stare in awe, my eyes large. “This-this” he smiles, “Many lack the words for it” I shake my head, “Please answer my question now,” I say eager to find out what is going on. He nods. “Once a generation a human mother is chosen to raise their child ordinarily, but they are all aware that on their child’s 15th birthday they will die, this child will then come to where you were and learn what you will learn. This cycle is chosen at random and the death is simple and painless. We choose death so that the knowledge that the mother has will not extend to others. This has been happening for thousands of generations, so we know that you will say it’s not fair to kill the mother, and you’re right it’s not fair. But once a week the child can talk to their mother’s soul. If their mother wants. You will have anything you want and will be able to come back to this realm whenever.” My eyes get wider. “And what if I say no?” I ask. He looks at me dead in the eyes, “You don’t”