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Fantasy Book: The Perfect Circle (1)

Updated on March 17, 2015

The Perfect Circle, Chapter 1: Summary

Year 3000: Violet and Edwin mysteriously survived after chemical blasts ten years earlier destroyed everything but plastic. Violet believes her mother was aware of the coming disaster, and that she also knew of life beyond Earth.

Are the answers in a leather book, written in a strange language, that mysteriously survived the blast as well?

The Perfect Circle

Chapter 1. The Light in the Cemetery

Isadora Paisley, died January 1st, 3000.

The words were carved on a grey tombstone, upon which they kneeled, clutching bunches of wilting daisies. There was no birth date.

“I wonder if they’ll come for us today,” Violet whispered.

She rested her head on Edwin's shoulder. They were surrounded by a sea of grey: thousands upon thousands of tombstones, with names on them rendered meaningless by their sheer quantity. Beyond the endless cemetery was dust. Mounds of grey dust. Everything had turned to dust: the bricks, the metal, the cadavers, when they started dying in such droves that burying them got too overwhelming. So they were left outside in piles, and turned to dust. Nothing had escaped the chemical fumes for long. Nothing but plastic. And them--Edwin and Violet.

The memory of two air raids and a dugout shelter flashed vividly in Violet's mind. She could almost smell the burnt acid in the air and choke on its acrid fumes. The poison gases of the third raid enveloped her and she saw, like a vision, her mother, all in white and silver, walking toward the moonlight. She remembered calling out her name as the gases invaded the dugout shelter. She remembered holding Edwin's hand as everyone's eyes rolled to the back of their heads, as their tongues hung out, as the saliva dribbled down their chins, and they crumpled to heaps on the floor.

"Every time I close my eyes, I see, clear as day, Daddy dying, right in front of me--gasping for air, his skin…" she looked down in sadness. "You know, Mamma knew about it--she knew we were going to survive. I don't know how."

"Right," Edwin said.

"She did," Violet insisted. "I don't know how she did. But every day, she'd open her Book--"

"Oh, God, that thing again."

"I'm just saying what I remember! Listen. She would always open it, and read out the passages like they were incantations, prayers of some sort--" Violet breathed out slowly. "She would read out the incantations, and she would rub my forehead, and look at me, oddly. Like she knew something the others didn't."

"You have a pretty good memory," Edwin said, "considering you're remembering something that happened ten years ago."

"It's been repeating itself, over and over in my head since i was five," she said. Then she saw the look on his face. "Edwin, stop teasing, please."

"But it's so much fun!" he laughed, pinched her arm, and ran away before she could reciprocate.

Violet made a face. "Listen! I'm telling you she knew something."

Edwin poked his head out from behind one of the plastic grey tombstones. Plastic was all that had survived in the aftermath of the bombs. And this cemetery, which had made such an outrage when it was created, was the only one left standing today.

"Still," said Edwin, returning to Violet's side hesitantly, "it's not like you'd find it out just by visiting her grave."

Violet shrugged. "What else is there to do?"

"Look at the Codex," suggested Edwin.

"I've looked at it a million times," sighed Violet. "I can't make heads or tails of it. Most of it is in a different language. The stuff I can understand doesn't make any sense to me. It's just a story."

"A pretty good story," said Edwin.

"But just a story," said Violet, her voice tight.

"Well, what else could there be?" Edwin looked around. "Plastic tombstones. Plastic containers and wrappers and litter. That's all there is." He gestured at the grey wasteland on which an occasional object was strewn. "I would rather have a story."

Violet looked away. "There is something else out there. I know there is. My mother knew what it was."

The Cemetery

Edwin shrugged and stood up. He walked across the grey wasteland toward a small makeshift shelter. After a moment Violet followed him.

Their home was a cube of stacked plastic parts. Inside, hard plastic objects had been covered with soft wrappers. Some still had discernable shapes and brands--others had been rendered unrecognizable with time.

On Violet's plastic wrapper of a pillow lay her prized possession: a dusty, leather-bound book she had found, the only non-plastic thing to have escaped the chemical blasts. A full moon shone brightly through the cracks of the wall--it had been a full moon ever since Violet could remember--and the light illuminated the title on the leather volume: Codex Superius.

Violet lay down on her bed and tried to sleep. But her heart was full, and her mind was busy, as it often was at night. She opened her Codex. It always filled her with calm and happiness, and today she detected--sensed, rather than smelled--a faint scent of perfume emanating from its pages. For some reason it reminded her of her mother. It was light, barely noticeable, sweet but not overly so, and made her feel as though she were floating slightly in the air. She flipped through pictures showing a strange creature in front of a fountain, mines filled with great treasures, beautiful beings, an island made of gold, a terrible war--

"Go to sleep, Vi," Edwin muttered. He was lying on her left, turning away from her.

"Am I bothering you?"

"Yeah, you're rustling the pages, they're glowing--"

"They're glowing?" she looked down at the pages and realized they were not merely reflecting the light from the moon--they seemed to be giving off light themselves.

"Must be the moon," he muttered again.

"No, Edwin, look--this isn't normal. Edwin!"

But he was already fast asleep.

Violet nestled with the Codex under her blanket, blocking out the moonlight. It still glowed unnaturally. She began to look at the stories with more interest. She wished she could understand the writing. She had always assumed they were fairy tales--like the stories she vaguely remembered about Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Her interest lay in the fact that this book was her mother's. Yet now that the pages seemed to be glowing she couldn't help but wonder--could it be possible that--? But no. That was too far-fetched.

Eventually, overcome by exhaustion, Violet's eyes closed and her head tumbled onto the open Codex. She fell into a deep sleep and the shelter grew quiet. The deathly stillness outside was pierced by a faint bang! far away. Had Violet been at her mother's cemetery, she might have seen a bright white light and heard a soft scratching and the light patter of feet. But she was still asleep--for the moment.

It was still night when Violet was awakened by the fluttering of the Codex's pages on her face. There was no wind out and she rubbed her eyes, wondering if she'd been dreaming. But the pages began to agitate even more wildly than before, and had she not known better, she might have thought they were trying to tell her something. The full moon was still high in the sky and gleaming brightly; but there was another light now, a light glittering from somewhere in the middle of the cemetery.

She grabbed her Codex, got up as quietly as she could so she would not wake Edwin, and tiptoed out of the shelter. Then she ran toward the light, laughing excitedly. This is it, she thought. This is what I've been waiting for!

The Codex Superius

Perfect Circle Poll

Who/what do you think is responsible for the light in the cemetery?

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    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent beginning. You hook the reader and don't let go!

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