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
Sabine Kurz would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Heart of Time

By Sabine Kurz All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Prologue

No one knew where the girl had come from. She was found on the road, half-starved, cloaked in dirt, unable to utter a single word. There was only one other person who knew the story, and she didn’t speak of it until later, much later, when the events that should change the land forever began to unfold. This is the story that was forgotten, as it is still told in the story houses of Allembach:

Once upon a time, there were a mother and her child, who loved each other dearly. They lived together in a small cottage in the rolling green hills of a faraway land, surrounded by sheep, whose wool was the means of the small family’s survival. One day, the mother fell gravely ill, and had to lie in bed for months and months. The child, not grown yet to womanhood, but strong and healthy, tended to her mother in the most caring way, but there was little change in the woman’s condition. Time passed, and the cottage grew dusty and unclean, for the girl did not have the strength to care for both her mother and the little farm. The sheep were no longer sheared, and there was no money left to spend for food. But the girl knew that they needed medicine to cure her mother, but they had neither the coin nor the means to get it. So they lived on together in the cottage, which slowly fell apart, and the hills behind it no longer seemed green, but dark and unfriendly.

One day, the girl went to the market to buy food with her last few coins. She was half-starved, having given all the food she could spare to her sick mother. But on the market they laughed at her, and told her she did not have enough money to buy anything. So she walked home, with hanging shoulders, thinking that now she must surely starve.

On the road she met a man, whose face was hidden under the dark hood of his long black cloak. He asked her for the way into the village, and because she was a dear and friendly girl, she told him without hesitation. He thanked her, and asked her if he could do something in return. At first, she shook her head, but the man persisted, until she told him of her sick mother and the empty coinbox. The man seemed to think, and said: “I know of a remedy that would cure your mother fully, and I have it her, in my pocket.” With that, he pulled a small vial from his cloak, and held it high up into the sun. The girl was overjoyed, and wanted to reach for the vial, when the man put it back into his pocket and asked what she was prepared to pay for it, as giving directions into the village was not nearly enough for such a powerful remedy. The girl thought hard, but could not come up with anything valuable she or her mother possessed. When she told the man, he laughed, and said: “You have something that is worth more to me than any coin you could ever have in your pouch.” Without thinking, the girl cried that he could have it, anything, if he would only give her the vial of medicine. But then he grabbed her, and stretched a clawed hand towards her chest. He sank his hand into her flesh and pulled out her beating heart, dripping with blood. “This is what I want as a payment, your heart, all loving and fresh and innocent. You will not die, little girl, for I do not want you to. You will live, your mother will be cured, but I have your heart. If we will meet again, tell me if it was worth it.” And with a chuckle, he walked off, leaving the girl kneeing in the middle of the road, clutching her chest.

When the girl came home, she fed her mother the medicine, and colour came back in the mother’s cheeks, and for the first time in half a year she stood up from her bed. But the girl could not rejoice over her mother’s cure, for she no longer had a heart, and she could no longer feel for others.

The girl became a woman, but she didn’t notice it. She walked through her life empty and unaware, but only her mother noticed the change, for all the intimacy and love between them had gone, and they lived their lives next to each other, not together. And the mother was very upset by this, for she did not know that her daughter had traded her heart away.

The girl felt no love for anything, not for the sheep she had cared for so lovingly before, not for the green hills, which she had walked on all her childhood years, not for her mother, not even for herself. She did not feel anything, only once when she had to kill a sheep that had broken its legs she felt something, something terrible, stirring within her. And because she yearned to feel again, she sought out this feeling. In time, she noticed that the suffering and death of others would bring her a moment of release from the emptiness within her chest. So she began to kill bugs and spiders first, then mice the cat had brought in, a newborn lamb, and later even the cat. And it became an addiction, for even though she no longer had a heart, she remembered how it had felt. But her mother never noticed any of the cruelties her daughter committed in secret.

After several winters had passed, a young man rode by the cottage, who was sent by his father to find a suitable girl for marriage. When he saw the young woman standing with the sheep, he was startled by her beauty. At that moment he knew that he could have no other wife than her. And so he asked her, and she agreed to marry him, because she did not know what else to do. The mother was happy, for she hoped that her daughter would find happiness with the young man, who was well spoken and and seemed to care a great deal for her daughter. And even though the man noticed that there was no love between him and his chosen wife, he thought to himself that love might grow with time.

And they lived together for some time, and even though there was no love between them, he was happy. One day the woman fell pregnant. Her husband was overwrought with joy, but in her, the deep dark feeling stirred whenever she looked on her swollen belly. When the child, a girl, was born, the husband often caught his wife looking at the baby with a dreadful look, but he pushed these thoughts aside, for he could not believe that his wife was evil. But she was tempted every time she saw her child, and in time the pressure in her became too much. So one day, she took a knife and went to the crib in which her daughter was lying. When she raised the knife high over her child, the husband, who had entered the room unnoticed, threw himself in front of his daughter. The knife pierced his heart, and with a final breath, he sank to the floor. Trembling, his wife let fall the weapon, and fled the house. She ran as fast as she could, never looking back, and was never again seen in this part of the country.

Her mother, who had heard of the events, came and took in her granddaughter, and cared for her lovingly. But she was growing old, and with every day more of her former strength left her. Some years they lived together, and even though the little girl laughed and cried, she did not speak. There was something different about her, but the old woman was so happy that there was some young life again in her little cottage, that she did not ponder on these thoughts.

Then, one day the grandmother died, and the girl, old enough to walk but too young to survive on her own, left the house, for there was no one to care for her. Walking through the woods, over the hills and over small streams she did, until she came to a road, where she lay down, for she had not eaten in many days. There she was found by some travelling folk, who took pity on her and took her in. With them she travelled far and wide, forgetting the place she had came from and the people she had known as a child. She became part of the travelling folk, and never knew how different she was from everyone else.

In the village she was born in, they never heard of her again, and they did not care, until later, much later, when the elders regretted of not taking care of what had happened in the little cottage in the rolling hills.

And this is how the story begins...

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...

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...

Ro-Ange Olson: Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward.

MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...

Elizabeth Robbins: 4.5 starsAs far as apocalypse stories go, this one took a new direction. I'm glad someone finally addressed the need for a vampire apocalypse! This is sort of a multi-genre festival of delights. With hints of forced societies, vamps, hunters, romance, apocalypse, government conspiracy, and thrill...

: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

PurpleInkling: Hippocrite is spelt hypocrite.Also it is an awesome story! A good one after so long. I was hoping someone would write a good fanficiton playing off what Ron said at the station. You are doing a remarkable job. It would have been interesting if Albus had also ended up in Ravenclaw though that mig...

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

More Recommendations

ga1984: I really enjoyed it! Characters were deep and plot was pretty complex. A bit on the violent side but it doesnt detract from the story. Very dark but situations make sense. Ends kinda abruptly and later chapters will need some editing work. I'm assuming there's more in the works?

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."