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

97 free copies left

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

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
Clare Hamilton would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Brave New World

By Clare Hamilton All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

With Conviction Now

September 24, 1999

Reyna’s body trembled endlessly as she huddled at the base of a tree. Her scrawny arms wrapped tight around her knees which pressed into her chest. Hearing an owl hoot softly in the distance caused her to sniffle and she wiped her nose on the shoulder of her shirt. It was sticky and hard from having used it as a tissue for the past several hours. She didn’t know how long she’d been in this forest. Her father had brought her here earlier in the evening, just as the sun was setting, and told her they were going to a zoo that was in the center of the park.

They got to the zoo, but it was closed. A sign on the gate said the zoo gates closed at 6:00 P.M. Reyna and her father hadn’t arrived until 6:30. Reyna was sad she couldn’t see the animals, but thought they’d come back tomorrow, or the next day. Her father told her to wait at the gate though, and said he would find someone to open the gate for them. The sun was still in the sky when he left her, but it had long since set.

She’d waited outside of the zoo for a long time. It felt like forever for the small seven year old. Eventually, though, Reyna realized her father wasn’t coming back for her and made her way into the park in hopes of retracing their earlier footsteps and finding her way back home. The task proved to be impossible for Reyna. Her eyes drooped with exhaustion, her feet ached with all the walking, and her muscles started to shiver from the early Fall cold.

Whimpering, Reyna curled farther into herself. If she could just make it until the morning, she was sure she’d find her way out of the park and back to her home. The forest was dark though, and Reyna hated the dark. She could only hear things around her. Things like leaves rustling, owls hooting, the pitter patter of smaller animals, and the groaning of the trees. Reyna didn’t know how the trees could groan, only that they could. A fly pricked at the skin on her knee and Reyna’s hand lashed out to smack it. The fly was too quick and her knee stung from the impact.

Taking a shuddering breath, Reyna tried to discern the shapes and shadows around her. She could see a few benches and lamps not too far from her, but the lamp wasn’t lit and the bench was occupied by a snoring man covered in newspapers. Something deep in Reyna’s belly told her the man wouldn’t hurt her if she went up to him, but her parents always told her not to talk to strangers and that man was definitely a stranger. Looking in the other direction, Reyna could only make out a few trees before they blended together in the dark. She was about to return to her huddled position when she saw something flash in the corner of her eye.

At first, when she didn’t see the flash again right away, Reyna thought it was a trick of what little light the moon gave her. That feeling in her belly flared up again and told her to keep looking in that direction, and this time Reyna listened to it. The silver streak appeared again, closer this time. Reyna stood up, not sure if she should stay and find out what caused the flash, or run for safety. Before she had time to really decide the silver flash stopped and stood a foot away from her.

The silver flash turned out to be a head of messy hair. Attached to that hair was the body of a man. Reyna’s breath stopped as she took him in. His skin was dark, almost as dark as the night surrounding him. His eyes seemed almost as silvery as his hair but flashed yellow when they focused on Renya. Her mouth had gone dry a while ago, but she gulped anyway. The sting from the swallow bringing Reyna back into the present. The man stepped closer. His steps were slow and his hands were outstretched, which Reyna took as a sign of peace. Still, her mouth tightened and her brows furrowed with every step he took. The closer he got, the better Reyna could make out more of his features. His ears, which were mostly concealed by his hair, were pointed. Shifting from one foot to the other, Reyna tried to remember what she’d heard about creatures like Fairies and Elves. She’d never met one before, but Reyna would bet that this man was one or the other.

He was less than a foot away when curiosity killed the cat. “Are you an Elf or a Fairy?” She asked, completely forgetting about the stranger rule. The man stopped, eyes widening slightly at her straightforward question. Chuckling deeply, he smiled so wide Reyna could see most of his teeth. His canines were sharp and longer than a humans, but even with that extra hint, she still couldn’t be sure what type of creature he was.

“How do you know I’m not a Vampire, little one?” He asked, tilting his head to the side slightly. His voice was smooth and soothed Reyna’s mind. It was like listening to rain pouring from a gutter spout and Reyna thought he could probably make it sound like waterfall if he really wanted to. Blinking slowly, Reyna took a second to remember that he’d asked a question.

Returning his smile just as wide, she proudly responded, “Because you have pointed ears! And Vampires don’t have pointed ears. Only Fairies and Elves do.”

The man chuckled again and bent down so they were at eye level. “You sure are smart aren’t you? I bet you read a whole bunch.” At this Reyna nodded her head furiously in agreement, thinking of all the times she’d snuck into her parent’s room and tried to read the books there. “Why don’t you guess then? You tell me whether I’m a Fairy or an Elf.”

Reyna hummed with frustration, but decided to play the game anyway. With a now pouting mouth and even more furrowed brow, she clasped her hands together in front of her chest and looked over her new friend again. Reyna had never met a Fairy or an Elf in person before, but she had seen a few on T.V. before. Fairies always seemed so tall and skinny to her, with long, bony fingers and everything about them seemed pointy. Her new friend didn’t seem very tall. He was much taller than her, yes, but who wasn’t? Nor did he seem skinny like a Fairy. His shoulders were broad and his body reminded her more of one of those football players her father always liked to watch. “Are you an Elf?” She guessed.

Letting out another chuckle, he bopped her nose, “You don’t sound very sure, little one. Come on, say it with conviction!”

Brows raised now, Reyna asked, “What’s conviction?” She’d never heard that word before, but she liked the sound of it. “Conviction,” she said again, sounding out the syllables slowly to let her tongue get the feel of it.

“It means . . . well, tell me what you think I am again, but this time try to make it sound less like a question and more like an answer. Does that make sense?”

Reyna nodded slowly, “I think so.” The two stared at each other for a few moments longer before the man raised his brows and Reyna shook her head, realizing he was waiting for her. “Oh, right! Um, you’re an elf!” She breathed out hard when she finished and waited on him to tell her if she was correct or not.

Shaking his head in good humor, he smiled again and told her she was right. Reyna’s smile was so wide she worried for a second that her cheeks would split open. “So tell me, little one, are you lost?”

Reyna’s smile quickly disappeared and melted into a frown. She remembered what her mother said about strangers again, but if he was going to do whatever it was that strangers did, Reyna figured he would have already. So instead she nodded her head and gave him a broken “Yes.”

Standing back to his full height, the man held his hand out to her, “If you’d like, I can escort you out of the park.”

“What does escort mean?” Reyna asked, again repeating the word after her question and liking the way it felt on her tongue.

“It means lead. Would you like me to lead you out of the park?” Reyna placed her small hand inside his larger one and marveled at the difference in their skin color; her light against his dark. Their clasped hands sent a wave of warmth and security through her body.

“I’d like you to escort me out of the park.” She responded, smiling widely up at him again. He let out a small hum and gave her a smile in return. “What’s your name anyway?” Reyna asked him as they began to walk down the manmade path. Then, remembering some manners that her mother taught her, “Mine’s Reyna!”

Giving her hand a small squeeze, the Elf’s smile widened before he responded, “I’m Melchiorn, and it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Reyna.” Reyna squeezed her hand back and repeats the word ‘acquaintance’ as they make their way through the park.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

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

Laraine Smith: Your story is both sweet and beautiful! You are a true artist! Keep up the great work! I also love the picture that you chose for your book! :)

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...

daneliacapote116: This was one of my favorites! When you start reading you want to continue I can't wait for the rest of the novel!! The characters where awesome! Everything was great. I encourage you to read this novel, your going to love it it and want to read it more and more !!

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!

More Recommendations

Jade Niday: This book has a really great plot. The author really makes you feel connected to the main character. There are twist around every corner you never see coming.. Great read for sure and I can't wait to see what happens next.

ElusiveBadwolf: I loved this book so much! It's a shame that i already came to the end of this. I really enjoyed the story, and i liked it how everything became in the end. It was a great book and i can say that you are a great writer too. Keep it that way and i think you can make it in the writing business!

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...

Roy Jenner: I was pleased to join the action where this B-17 was limping back across the English Channel defying all odds. Obviously written by a person more than familiar with the interior of the Flying Fortresses that were familiar in the skies of Southern England during World War 2. Plenty of action here ...

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.