This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The doorbell rang once and woke her, and made her gasp. It was quiet, so utterly quiet. Behind the shadowy curtains large flakes of snow invaded the dark sky that reached across the plains and fell behind the Rocky Mountains—one with the night, one with the silence. She sat up and reached for her glasses on the small wooden tabletop at her side. Who is it that rings?
She stepped warily out of bed. The floor was cold under her bare feet. The kitchen door stood partially open, a warm glow seeping into the dim hallway from within. The domestic stepped from the light and walked towards her, attentive and alert.
“Miss?” it said.
“What time is it, Alon?” she asked.
The domestic looked pale in the obscurity. “It’s 3:42 AM. Should I answer the door, Miss?”
She looked towards the front door. Whoever stood behind it had not rung twice, and there was a deep silence inside the house. “Who is out there?”
“It’s a child, miss.”
“A child? What on Earth—” She stared once more at the door, vaguely distinguishable in the darkness against the furthermost wall, and then back at her domestic. “A child? At this hour?”
“Do you wish me to answer the door?”
“Turn on the lights,” she said, “I will get the door.” As she walked, she tucked her hands in her elbows and pressed her crossed arms against her nightgown. The chilly air, hanging motionless around her, made her shiver. She grabbed a silk shawl from the wooden coat rack below the staircase and wrapped it around her neck. The domestic followed her. She opened the door without a word.
Standing pale and quiet, his feet buried in the thin snow that rested on the doorstep, was a boy. He seemed no more than ten years old. He stared up at her patiently. His placid blue eyes seemed to glisten in the warm light that fell onto the elusive features of his face from behind the open door.
The boy said something in another language, and she did not understand. His voice was small and frail, yet composed.
The woman stared at the shadowy figure bundled in layers of snow-covered clothing, the whitish forehead and auburn curls tucked under a large fur hat. The child wore black aviator trousers and a well-tailored merino duffle coat.
She stood in the light of the entrance and her lips were parted slightly as though she were about to speak, but whatever words she wanted to say she could not find, and for a while she said nothing. The child’s eyes did not wonder from hers, even when briefly she turned her gaze towards the solidary night and the waves of snow that twirled in the silence.
He waited patiently. He held something in his hands—a small black cricket—cupped in both palms like a treasure. It did not move. It did not chirp. Maybe the cold had killed it, and maybe the boy had not realized.
“Domina, may I have a horse?” he said, with the same pale voice as light as an echo, an echo that the night had lifted with snowy arms and carried to her ears.
“Please, domina, will you give me a horse?”
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...
rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...
Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...
Theresa Alley: right from the start it is of the genre I love!! And it doesn't slow down from there!! I love that it kept me reading til I had no more story left to read!! I finished it in one day!! love this book!! looking forward to more from this author, if not about ASTA, more of the same style!! PLEASE!!!???
Alisha Tabassum: The story was so beautiful and I absolutely loved it. The only problem is the grammar and spellings. Other than that, its perfect! I think it deserves a lot more views than it currently has. Honestly, I've never read anything like this before.
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...