This is a mini-standalone piece I wrote based on a character from a novel I’ve written. This is the first time I’m publicly sharing anything in regards to this novel, as it’s been a work-in-progress of mine for many years. But I finally have a draft of it completed — not just a draft, but a second draft that I rewrote from the first draft, essentially doing a side-by-side rewrite and update of certain things.
This scene does not appear in the book, but was something I wrote to engage with the character more, and to have some shorter pieces that I felt okay sharing with people. I’m sure as anyone who’s worked on any project, especially an art project (writing, drawing, music, etc), you can become connected to what you create, because in a sense, it is a piece of you.
I’ve worked on the novel for many years, and it’s a piece of me, but I’m trying to remember that I don’t grow if I keep myself locked away, so this is an attempt to help me step out of my comfort zone.
Ember suckled the cool night air. It was a cruel fate to be torn away from your home against your will, but she had one more night. She would take her peace here, though she knew she’d have no peace from her family and guests. It was her own wedding after all, and here she stood. Alone on the balcony, hidden from plain sight, wrapped in the warm breeze that cradled her in a secure embrace.
No matter where you go, you’ll always belong here, it sang its lullaby through the trees. No matter where you journey, here is always home.
And she would go far. She had been condemned to it. She had converted herself from a native to foreigner in just the utterances of a few words. A sacrifice, one of which no one could comprehend the intensity.
She said her silent prayers of gratitude towards singing winds. Thanks for all it had given her, and even for choosing her for this fate. It could’ve been another, either of her closest companions.
But she tried not to think of it, for if that had come to pass, she couldn’t imagine their own fate.
Then again, did she really even fathom the destiny she herself had accepted?
She breathed in the night air once more, and with the wind and trees making their own songs, she could hear the music reverberating off the walls of the hall inside, calling her back to the world of humanity. But she couldn’t face it. There had been too much humanity most of this day.
She didn’t know what it was, for it certainly wasn’t a sound, but she turned, and found him standing there, stealing her moment’s utopia. He grinned from his place in the shadows, craving her attention. She obeyed.
“I’m shocked that you of all creatures cannot hide better,” she whispered.
A dark chuckle came from motionless lips.
“Why would I hide from my own bride?”
They kept their distance; they were the strangest couple in creation—a union of man and beast.
“You’ve angered them all tonight,” he announced, stepping towards her. “They’re all glad to see you leave. That fierce attitude of yours finally put them off.”
“And you believe that wasn’t in my plans?”
“The loss of dear friends and family, and you don’t mourn for them?” he pondered. “What a strange creature you are.”
“You are not deceiving me,” she breathed.
His smirk evaporated and darkness descended upon his eyes.
“You believe you hide yourself from everyone. But you haven’t fooled me.”
“No.” The edges of his lips tugged. He blinked. But when his eyes returned to hers, they were black. She nodded. “Nothing can be hidden from you.”
“Perhaps you know me better than I think.”
His smile was wide now. Another flick of the eyelids and he resumed his guise.
“And I won’t let you hurt any of them.” Within a blink, Ember found herself alone once more. She pursed her lips, willing her strength to return.
“Even if it means separating myself from them,” she vowed. She left paradise behind, and returned home.