This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Evelyn McKenna Mae
Tall aspen trees reached for the sky, their small green leaves clapping together in the summer breeze. The dirt path, still slightly damp from the rain yesterday, was covered in small smooth pebbles and twisting roots. It was early in the day, the shadows of the trees were long enough to cover the forest in shade, with the occasional breakthrough of bright sunlight. Birds sang their usual good morning chirps and bunnies scuttered across the forest floor.
Walking to work in the early morning was Evelyn’s favorite part of the day. Here in the woods where she was surrounded by complete nature, total peace.She knew this path like the back of her hand, she had used it to walk to work everyday for the past ten years. She remembered the day she had started working for the Bendemire family as a servant. It was shortly after her tenth birthday, right after her mother had gotten seriously ill. Evelyn had been able to help her father get a good doctor who saved her in the nick of time with her savings from her job. The Bendemire’s had been good to her, when they found out about her situation they took pity on her and raised her pay. They were like a second family to her, which was weird enough as it was considering she worked for them.
And then there was Gawain , the eldest son of the Lord of the house. Thanks to their mutual friend Aravae, Evelyn and Gawain had a secret romance. She was the one who helped them realize their true feelings for each other and convinced them to pursue their secret romance. It had been great at first, they were happy and young and carefree. But Evelyn hated keeping secrets and Gawain didn’t like lying to his parents, so they decided to be honest and tell them that their eldest son had fallen in love with their favorite servant. They were going to ask for their blessing to be married. But he had died that morning, before they had the chance to confess. Evelyn had found him when she went to clean his room that day; he was laying on the floor of the washroom, next to a broken hand-held mirror, with no pulse.
Evelyn shook her head, a sad smile on her face. That had been three years ago. She had mourned him and moved on. She had Chance now, a nice gentleman from the village who loved her dearly. And while her feelings for him were strong, she could never forget her first love.
Something gold flashed above her head, swaying from a tree branch. Curiously Evelyn took a few steps back to the base of the tree and began to climb. It wasn’t as easy as climbing a maple or pine, but she made do with what she had.
Once she received the object and was safely back on her feet, she inspected it further. It was a pocket watch, untarnished and unscratched, probably newly made. The clicked the knob to check if it was in working order.
“Well that’s odd.” Evelyn remarked, tracing the glass clock face with a finger. Instead of numbers and hands, there was an hourglass inside. The sand was falling rapidly. Time was almost up.
She heard footsteps behind her, someone was approaching. She whirled around when he grabbed her arm. “Chance, I thought we weren't meeting until-”
She broke off mid sentence upon seeing his face. She had only assumed it to be him because he was known for showing up randomly throughout her day to surprize her with a fresh cut columbine flower. But this wasn’t Chance, and he didn’t have a flower. He was taller for one, and he didn’t have the twinkle of a smile in his eyes that Chance always did. This guy had platinum blonde hair, or was it white? His face was ageless so she couldn't be sure. His eyes were a scary pale green color, not the gold of Chance’s.
“Sir, please let go of me.” Her voice was hardly a whisper, she knew she sounded about as terrified as she was. A scary man grabbing her while they were alone in the forest, there was too much that could go wrong. He could kill her, or worse, and no one could hear her scream.
His hand, cold as ice, gripped her elbow more firmly. “That’s my watch.”
“Wha- oh! I am so sorry sir. Here, you can have it back, I was just looking. I didn’t mean to see like a thief. It was just there, and I was curious, because it’s not everyday you see something this nice high in a tree.” She was blabbering, she knew, but she couldn’t stop. She held out the watch, nearly throwing it in his face. If she gave it back then he would leave her alone, right?
He didn’t. He glanced down at the face of the watch, now only a few grains of sand were left in the top half. “It didn’t work properly the first time. But I think I’ve perfected my methods. In theory it should work.”
Evelyn had no idea what this guy was talking about, all she knew was she wanted him to leave her alone. “Please, good sir, I really must be getting to work.”
“Don’t worry. You will be working.” His voice was slow, thoughtful. His eyes seemed to see right through her, as if she weren't a human at all but something that he could use.
She tried to yank her arm away, maybe if she ran fast she could make it to the Bendemire Mansion before he could try anything. But his grip was iron, hard and unyielding. “I really must be going now. Good day.”
He shook his head. “Evelyn McKenna Mae.”
“How- how do you know my n-name?” Despite the rising sun and the heat of summer, her whole body shook. She could feel it now, this strange power that seemed to be emitting from this guy. They stood in shade, yet his body was surrounded by an aura of golden light.
He grabbed his watch back finally and frowned. He showed it to her as the last bit of sand fell. “It will work this time. It has to. You won’t even remember.”
Evelyn McKenna Mae didn’t even have time to scream before the golden light swallowed them both.
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