{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Ashley L. Bryant would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Legend of Matthew Hyde

By Ashley L. Bryant

Adventure / Action

Prologue

“This is the way the world ends...

Not with a bang but a whimper.”

--T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

subject: Verona Hyde, age 48

date: December 21

time: 10:46 a.m.

<<begin taped interview>>

*sound of chair scraping against the floor*

“So I just speak into this microphone?”

*mumble of someone in background*

“Oh. Sorry.Yes, I saw the report last night. It’s hard to believe it’s still considered newsworthy; it all happened so long ago. That little boy from the coffee shop has grown up quite a bit. It’s nice that he still remembers Matthew, that everyone does, even though...”

“Is this water for me? Thank you...”

*glass set down on metal table*

“It’s hard to know where to start, honestly. When I hear all the things they’re saying about Matthew, it seems like they must be talking about someone else. Half of them say he was a miracle-worker and the other half say he was a minion of the devil bringing up spawns from hell.

“Well. If that’s the Matthew you want to hear about, I don’t have much to say. He was neither of those things. He was just a lonely boy...trying to figure out who he was and where he belonged.

“You’ve probably seen that photo we were given of Matthew, back when we were first considering adopting a child. The whole process felt a bit like shopping; I didn’t like that part. But we couldn’t have our own and we wanted to help a child, regardless of what they looked like. When they showed us Matthew’s picture, something about him just drew us in.

“The other kids in the photos were smiling. But not him. He was so tiny, skin and bones, and with those haunted blue eyes that looked like they expected nothing but sadness out of the world. I couldn’t get him out of my mind, even days later. When I told Jim, my husband, about it, he agreed that we should meet Matthew. Even then we both thought there must be a reason I was drawn to him.”

*tissue being pulled from a box*

“Thank you. Well, that was all it took. We met with the child liaison, then the orphanage director. She was the one who suggested we first see Matthew interacting with other children during their school day. It makes me angry to think about it. She knew what we would see.

“We were shown to a discreet side room just before the children were let out for a free period in the playroom. It was easy to spot Matthew trailing out after the others. He just wandered over to the back wall and stood there as if he’d found his place, while the other kids were all busy with puzzles or games. If any of the children got too close, Matthew would shuffle his feet nervously and shy away. He looked miserable--tiny and silent and miserable.

“The amazing thing was that as soon as we stepped into the room, his eyes found us, even amidst all that chaos and noise. His little face was desperate, but as we got closer, hope seemed to crowd out every other emotion.

“I stopped about five feet away. I was worried that I would frighten him. Jim stayed even further back. Matthew didn’t speak but by then I knew better than to expect him to try. Slowly, I moved closer and opened my arms. That was all he needed. He jumped at me and threw his arms around my neck, crying softly. He was so light, so tiny, that I hardly felt anything but that strong grip. I whispered to him that everything was all right now. And I meant it. Nothing was going to take him away from me. Nothing. He nodded but didn’t say a word.

*sniffing*

“When I turned around, Jim was choking back tears. He hugged us both and said, ’I think we’ve just been adopted.’ Matthew looked over at him with a soft sort of awe in his eyes and his tears stopped. Then that first, soft smile brightened his face and it was all over. There was no way we were going to give him up. We loved him at first sight and he loved us right back. I don’t think it’s always that easy when you adopt an older child.

“I’ll always regret that we didn’t get there sooner. Poor Matthew had been through something traumatic long before we reached him. They told us a lot of families had considered him but his disability turned them off. I don’t know why.

“Looking into those big, blue eyes, I understood instantly that we could communicate fine, even though he would never speak a word to us.

<<end segment>>

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Hali McGowan: when will the third book be done? I am absolutely hooked. I red the first two books within less than a week. I'm itching for the third one. The plotline is absolutely wonderful. I've never been much for sci-fi ish books. but you've got me hooked on this series

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...

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :D The character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

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...

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

Laraine Smith: You are a true artist! You should do this for a living! I love the imagery here! It is magical! You are magical!

Catherine Kopf: Wow! This was a really great story. I really enjoy reading fantasy, so it didn't take long for me to become invested in the book and its characters like Jacob. I really liked your writing style, and it seemed to flow very well. The descriptions that you used for your world were also created n...

More Recommendations

carla1234: I couldn't stop reading this book once I started! it was brilliant! I loved it and I would love to buy it. Although if you could make a more eye-catching synopsis, I would suggest you please do.I loved how everything came together in this novel. everyone, even people not involved in the main stor...

Laraine Smith: This should be a movie! You are talented! It is that good! Keep it up! It is visual! It grabbed me! Don't give up!

aaron10905: This is undoubtedly one of the best books written on here. I actually unistalled this app until someone told me about this story. I came back not expecting much, just to be drawn into the story and the characters. I would buy this book in real life, as long as another was promised shortly after.

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.