This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The child was born on the banks of Lake Pravda, near Kharkiv in the age of the Soviet Union, year: 1986. The lake was named this way not only out of desire to please the Soviet authorities of the municipality but more so due to the commonly held peasant belief that, if a child were to drink of the waters of the lake on the outskirts of town before his first year, he would develop a keen eye and sharp tongue for spotting and telling the truth.
This had proven true of the 18th century Ivanka, who, having drunk from the lakes whilst unsupervised by her aristocratic parents on a Sunday walk, had grown to become the leading mind in chess of her century, writing over 20 tomes on the subject and inventing vertical castling before throwing herself from the highest keep of Kharkiv Castle. – One gulp.
The same was true of the local prodigy child Ivan Stakhanov, who, the newspapers said, invented a new way to extract coal thirteen times faster after spending two days and two nights in silent contemplation after having his legs broken in the collapse of a mine shaft. Having slowed his breath to an almost imperceptible level, he had survived on the reserves contained within - all the while hallucinating torrents of water gushing into his soul, tearing the filthy soot away- until a mining crew found him by mistake, looking for a way around the collapse. As he was alive and breathing all the crew could do was drag him out and mutter “педик” under their breaths as they came to the inescapable conclusion that the same could not be said of the canary that had initially survived the collapse with him. –Two gulps.
In the summer of 1986, the mother’s milk ran out and, being a pious woman, she sought counsel from the local priest who gave her only the coy advice that she should read out loud from her favourite book to the child before he slept and feed him with solid foods, preferably potatoes as they were cheaper - the child having a strong chance to not live out the year, the risk management was thus optimal.
So the mother went home and did as instructed, mashing potatoes in water for the child, and read incessantly from William Blake’s “Marriage of Heaven and Hell” to him, more specifically the Proverbs of Hell.
As the words chased each other of the mother’s tongue they collided to form a dissonant melody:
As well as being pious, she was a lazy woman and, one night, the water to mash the potatoes having run out or been used to brew alcohol, she eclipsed herself from the home where the father sat upright, dead drunk in the worn sofa. She only slipped on her wooden shoes over her bare feet for fear of snakes and rushed out back to where the still lake reflected the shadow of the trees. Dipping a bucket in the standing water she thanked the moon for the light it provided and, having made the sign of the cross on her bosom, she rushed back into the house.
The child was peering at her from beneath knotted eyebrows and the father still hadn’t moved nor uttered a sound. She felt reassured and, preparing him his meal, she sang again to the silent child:
The child sat upright and knew its name was Edik. –One mouthful
Edik began crying before realising the futility of what he was doing. –Two mouthfuls
Edik turned to the father and knew he had been dead for four hours. – Three mouthfuls
Edik turned to the mother and knew she would kill herself if she found out. – Four mouthfuls
Edik tilted his head and murmured so as not to startle his mother:
“Mother… he shall beat you to a pulp if he finds out you have not been to town for my meal. I shall not say a word if you would only take me away from here and Westwards. Pack your bags kind mother and take me away, bring your floral dress and white hat and follow the road outside towards the city, only tonight you shall keep going.”
Feeling satisfied with the impression his first words had made he took the spoon from her astonished hands and resumed eating as she ran upstairs to pack her bags in a flight of fear. As he heard the suitcase zip he looked up and bellowed:
“Don’t forget to bring the water from the lake for the journey ahead!”
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...
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...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
christylynnr5: This was beyond amazing! I loved this book. The characters seemed so real. It was amazing how the author let Zak and Kaylees personalities slowly change. This story was very sad and eye opening. It could teach some people a very worthy lesson. It was a great combination of romance, mystery, and a...
emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
Jennifer Sibley Jannise: So, I originally read the book because my daughter asked me to. However, I read it in 2 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well written and thought out. If the author writes and publishes any more books, I would definitely read them.
Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...
Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.
mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!
zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...