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Fantasy Book: The Perfect Circle (3)

Updated on March 17, 2015

Before You Read, Tell Me This:

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What You Missed in Chapters 1 and 2

  • Violet and Edwin are adoptive siblings and sole survivors on Earth after chemical warfare causes the human race to self-destruct.
  • VIolet believes her mother knew about what would happen as well as other worlds.
  • Violet's most-prized belonging is the Codex, a mysterious book that shows other beings.
  • At the end of chapter 2, a strange hand has just extended from Violet's mother's tombstone.

The Perfect Circle
The Perfect Circle

The Circle Amulet

He had been awake for a while now but lay in bed, staring at a fly dancing around the oil lamp that lit his chamber. The fly had entered through a crack in his window, and though it was immediately drawn to the flickering light, it took its time at first, flying cautiously around the wall sconce. But its fall was inevitable. It flirted more audaciously with the light until finally it succumbed to it. Down it went, in a minuscule explosion of ash.

Vannya took his attention away from the lamp and looked out the window. The desolate sight filled him with sadness. Red cobblestones that had once been laid so carefully along the winding paths of his village were now upturned, revealing the dry dirt underneath. Trees that had once dripped with peaches, apples, and plums, and in which birds and squirrels had once found homes, were now burnt to a crisp or dying from thirst. From a mountain looming in the distance, smoke curled into the air lazily.

He could remember when his village, Crumpington, was dotted with hundreds of brick huts, but no more than fifty remained, scattered about the ravaged land. Though he was at the very limits of the village, he could make out the silver circle rising over all the other structures. It rested atop the Circa and gleamed when the bell rang every morning, noon and night, calling the warriors to worship. But while many a Crumpingtonian flocked to the circle to throw their matching circle amulets to the sun and pray for mercy, it was another building that brought a tear to Vannya's eye and a finger to his necklace. And he’d rub its square shape with the powerful faith borne from necessity.

Vannya could still imagine the Library in its previous splendor, sparkling white amid all the other red brick buildings. It had once outshone even the Circa, and it had been there that the warriors worshipped in times of need – worshipped not power and a silent God, but the knowledge at their fingertips.

Yet now it lay deserted, its white marble turned ash grey with time. The windows were all boarded up and the walls cracked and covered with the dried yolk of eggs thrown by pranksters many moons ago. But now, as the first warriors began to make their way along the streets of the village center, they passed the Library without so much as a glance. It had been forgotten by time.

Vannya stood and combed his chestnut hair and beard. He counted forty-three gray hairs. They could not come quickly enough--to the others, he knew, he was nothing but a child at eighty-five years of age, whereas Sharbroog would turn one hundred and sixty within a fortnight and had become chief at one hundred and twenty. Yet he knew this was his destiny–and he must convince the villagers to take him seriously.

He slipped into his woolen tunic and grabbed his stiff leather wrapper and belt, from which he hung a gourd and knife. Then he stepped out.

"We murder no one," Vallagonian hissed.
"We murder no one," Vallagonian hissed.

'Bella, Aura, Scientia'

Vannya stopped in his tracks as a peal of laughter echoed a few feet away from him. Two young boys played in the street, tossing a handmade ball back and forth. Their curly blond hair delicately framed their rosy complexions. He could not remember the last time he had seen a child.

“What are you doing?” he hissed.

One of them, a girl, raised her head, her circle amulet glinting in the sun. “Playing ball, of course,” she said.

“Where are your parents?” he asked.

Just then, several houses down, a female opened the door and screamed, “Children! Inside, now!”

But it was too late. Vannya heard a wheezing cough, followed by a chuckle that sent a shiver down his spine. It was Vallagonian, Sharbroog’s henchman. He had been afflicted with the inability to grow a beard and had to settle instead with a long, wispy moustache that curled at the tips. He was twirling it now and staring at the children with a mixture of glee and relief.

“It appears we still have children in the village after all, do we not?”

“Vallagonian,” Vannya said steadily, “allow them to return to their parents and speak not of this to the Chief. Otherwise you make a grave mistake.”

“Ah, but honesty is an important virtue, is it not?” Vallagonian murmured. “As is lawful obedience –”

“But murder is not.”

“We murder no one,” Vallagonian hissed.

The children’s mother came running and kneeled in front of Sharbroog’s henchman. “Please,” she cried. “Please, have mercy on them–have mercy on me!”

Vallagonian designed not look down, but clicked his heels and left. The woman collapsed in tears.

Vannya knew what he could expect now, so he directed himself to the Circa, which Sharbroog used to hold town meetings. In the distance, on the path leading up the village, he saw the back of the sign which he knew read, Bella, Aura, Scientia. They’d once had a good leader, perhaps not great, perhaps a bit too fond of his food and drink, but a good leader nonetheless. During Porkus’ reign, the sign had read Scientia, Aura, Bellum, and the Library had been as magnificent as ever, run by the great Dvolak. But now, the sign had been painted over, the village was on its way to total ruin, the Library was boarded up, and Dvolak was missing. And Vannya was on his way to a village meeting, the outcome of which he already knew.

He stood now in front of the Circa, which rang its bell to call the warriors to meeting. The strength left his legs but he grabbed his square amulet, took a breath, and made his way inside.

Vannya searched for a friendly face and found one at the back in the form of Poblik, whose face sprouted creamy white hair in all directions and who smiled at him wearily. He slid into a seat next to him. He noticed his friend was rubbing his circle amulet pensively.

“It is a great tragedy,” Poblik murmured.

The air was getting thick with smoke.
The air was getting thick with smoke.

The sound of clunking footsteps brought their attention to the front of the room. A warrior, his skin leathery and freckled, tufts of red scattered amongst his grey hair and beard, stood on a platform and looked down at them.

“Fellow Crumpingtonians!” Sharbroog cried, raising his hands. “Fellow Crumpingtonians, it has come to my attention that we still have two children in our village!”

There were murmurs of surprise in the crowd.

Sharbroog raised his hands once more and the noise died down. “Warriors, what shall we do?”

The warriors in the first few rows began yelling, “Offer them up! Offer them up!” Vannya remained quiet.

“Silence!” Sharbroog said. “As much as it pains us, I am not selfish. I must think of the village, not simply of myself and how much I love children. It seems we have only one solution: offer the children to It.”

The warriors in the first rows cheered. A warrior passed a crumpled piece of paper to Vannya. He opened it. Scribbled in silver ink was: Dvolak’s warriors: Meeting at moon behind Library. He passed it on to Poblik, who nodded.

“Bring me the children!” Sharbroog cried. “Bring me the children!”

“Yes, Chief!” Vallagonian said, bowing. He snapped his fingers and two warriors outfitted in plated armor dragged in the terrified female and her children.

“And what shall this warrior’s punishment be for concealing her children?”

“Death!” the warriors at the front of the room cried. “Death!”

Vannya felt his hands clench into fists, but he willed himself to relax. He had more important things to do than call attention to himself as the defender of some lowly villager.

“Very well,” Sharbroog said. “Since it is the will of my people, I decree that these children be brought to the opening of the mountain and that, when the sun is highest in the sky, this female be executed by public hanging.”

The warrior’s sobs were echoed by the cheers of her fellow villagers. Sharbroog raised his hand one last time. “Meeting adjourned,” he called.

The villagers rushed outside and followed the two plated warriors apprehensively as they walked down a path, through the desolate landscape, past the ruins of their village, until they reached the side of the mountain. Here the villagers stopped, but the two plated warriors, accompanied by Vallagonian, continued, prodding up the children with their lances. Just as the air was getting thick with smoke, the warriors turned around.

“Go on,” Vallagonian hissed to the children. “Go on!” Then he ran down the mountainside after the warriors.

The children looked around in confusion. But before they could understand what was happening, there was a loud rumble and the earth trembled. The mountain was erupting. The children only had time to stare. A moment later they were gone.

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    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I got sidetracked, but I'll be back to finish it!

    • BessieBooks profile image
      Author

      BessieBooks 3 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback on this chapter and the others, WillStarr! I'm glad you like it.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      On to part 4!

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