As I walk down the streets of Caspian, the wind howels around me. The sounds of children shouting are in the distance as I walk along the gravel road. Dust and pebbles kick up as I walk, but I hardly notice.
The smell of warm stew overtakes my senses, and I breathe in the heavenly smell. I soon forget all my troubles and focus on the warm comforting smell of food i’ll never be able to afford.
Shouts from the nobles can be heard across the square, scolding their slaves to hurry up. I angle my ears to hear the harsh sound of a whip flying through the air and landing on a poor persons back.
I shake my head and move past the awful sounds, quickening my pace as I remember what I am here to do. I don’t want to have the same fate as those slaves.
I turn a corner and see Ms. Crawford’s shop, in between some market stands. I quickly cross the street and enter the shop, hearing the same old bell ring, making my presence known.
“Ms. Crawford, I delivered your milk and eggs!!” I call out, waiting patiently by the door. I learned my lesson when I ventured to far into the exquisite clothing and expensive jewelry. Poor girls like me can easily be assumed as thieves.
I slowly look around, gazing at all the unique clothing only a noblewoman can afford. The beautiful silk dresses for errand runs, the jewelry for extravagant balls and parties, and interesting perfumes for that final touch.
I know I’ll never live that life, but it doesn’t hurt to dream.
“Kiera!!!!!” Ms. Crawford yells, and I quickly stand up straight and say, “yes miss?”
“Get over here and give me my milk and eggs!!” She yells, and I quickly scurry to the back of the shop, avoiding tripping over a gown.
I reach the back and see Ms. Crawford sewing some fabrics together, creating a new color palette that will definitely be popular.
She looks up and purses her lips “A girl like you should be quicker than a mouse. Hurry up and don’t be late!!” She scolds as I give her the delivery.
“Yes Ms. Crawford.” I say softly and bow my head. She only scoffs and tilts her head toward the door.
“Best you see your way out then. It’s getting late and the Kings Guard will be out soon patrolling.” She says, and I mumble a quick thank you and turn towards the door, quickly making my escape.
Once out of the shop, I breathe a sigh of relief. Ms. Crawford is a scary woman, and she always has a temper. Unfortunately, I can’t obtain another job, so I’m stuck with running errands for little miss cranky.
I make my way back onto the street, hurrying my pace as I notice the sun starting to go down. I frown and look down at my empty hands, knowing there won’t be any supper tonight.
As I’m doing so, I knock into a hard wall. Actually, not a wall, but a big man. “Watch where you’re going peasant!” He yells, sneering and hitting my shoulder as he walks pass.
I glare at the back of his big head and continue my journey home, avoiding any more stuck up nobles.
“Mother I’m home!!” I call out, entering our worn down house. I take off my cloak and hang it over a chair. I hear movement and I turn my head to see my mother climbing down the latter from our upper level.
She smiles at me and pulls me in for a hug. “Busy day? You’ve been out for awhile.” She says, kissing my head and heading into our kitchen. Well, a small corner in our little house.
“Yes, Ms. Crawford had all these errands for me to run, and I didn’t have time to fetch dinner.” I say, frowning at the thought of going to bed hungry again.
Mother just shakes her head and says, “it’s not your fault dear. Don’t worry though, I sent Annalise out.”
I sigh in relief and run my fingers through my dirty blonde locks. “That’s good, but the market is a dangerous place.” I say softly, glancing down at my left hand.
Mother pauses and looks at me, setting down the rags she was holding. “Yes, and that is precisely why you wear gloves.” She says, quickly glancing at my birthmark.
I look down and study it. I wish it was a birthmark, but it isn’t. It’s too neat and precise to be a birthmark. It looks like a lighting bolt, but I have no idea why. Mother says to keep it hidden, so I listen to her. Plus, every time she notices the mark, fear is evident in her voice.
I hear the front door open and slam shut as my younger sister rushes in. She breathed heavily and holds up a bag. “I got some bread from the baker!” She exclaims.
I smile at her and say, “good job Ana.” She looks at me and giggles, proudly handing the food to mother. “Now why are you breathing so heavily!” She scolds, fixing Ana’s hair.
“The sun was setting, so I had to get home before it completely disappears!” She says, reciting one of mother’s rules.
“Good girl.” Mother says, smiling and taking out some clay plates.
Ana smiles and sits down next to me. All of a sudden, she gasps and turns towards me, seizing my hands with excitement.
I jump in my seat at the sudden outburst, raising my eyebrows at her. “Oh Kiera, you have to listen to this!! All the girls my age have been talking about this!” Ana says.
I smile a little and say, “well tell me!” Ana leans in and says, “the prince is finally 18!! The Queen trials are going to start!” She says, smiling from ear to ear.
“Well, um, that’s great?!” I say, not really interested in the prince.
“That’s not all. People have been saying that the lucky girls to be chosen for the trials have marks on their hand, like yours!!” Ana says, looking down at my mysterious mark.
I suddenly go still, pulling my hands away from Ana. She looks at me puzzled, confused as to why I pulled away. I hear mother in the doorway, dropping a plate.
I whip my head towards her to notice her go deathly white, shaking from head to toe.
“Mom, why are you shaking?” Ana asks, confused at mother’s weird behavior. Frankly, I am too, but with mother’s constant protection of my mark, I now feel the fear to slowly creep in.
“Mother... what’s going on?” I say slowly, my hands starting to tremble. I have never seen my mother this afraid, and it worries me deeply.
“This can’t be happening.......... no.......... it’s too soon! It’s too soon..... they said after the full moon...... no....” Mother mumbles, frantically moving around the house, picking up some stray clothes on the floor.
“Mom, I’m scared!” Ana says, tears forming in her eyes. Mother continues to mumble, and I faintly hear the words run or hide.
I can’t take this anymore, so I slam my hands against the table. “MOTHER!” I say loudly, glaring at her. She suddenly stops and finally looks at us. I jerk my head towards Ana whose now crying, scared at mother’s change of behavior.
“Oh I’m so sorry Annalise...” Mother says, running over and comforting her youngest daughter. She rocks back and forth, whispering calming words to my 8 year old sister.
Finally, after what seems like an hour, Mother pulls away and sits down across from us. She takes my hands and sits in silence for while, contemplating how to tell me that my life will change after this.
She takes a deep breath and looks me in the eyes and says, “Kiera, you are something special. Something impossible in this world.”
First chapter is done!! I hope you are enjoying this story so far, and please give this book a chance. My writing may be bad since I’m 15 years old and this is my first book, but i’ll try to work on it!! Please comment on any corrections or suggestions, and i’ll use them to make this book better!! Thanks for reading!!