Octavia, the princess of the city of Octo, built on the top of the Parnethia Mountains, was leaning against the railings of the bridge, watching the landscape in front of her with far away eyes. Suddenly, a bright tear crept down from her dark blue eyes. Her tears created a stain on the worn floor of the bridge.
She could not help herself while seeing the breathtaking beauty of Parnethia. Still, she quickly recovered and dug through the stain with his boot, as if she was rage. She found it normal that she could not control herself while she was so lost in her thoughts. She just didn’t want to admit that she was getting emotional enough to cry.
She took a deep breath and buttoned up her leather jacket. The sun was starting to set and when it got dark it would be very cold outside. Sniffing, she turned around and started walking on the old wooden bridge. The bridge creaked every time she took a step, signaling that it was about to collapse. Octavia wasn’t supposed to get that far from the castle, but she wasn’t comfortable with people around her. Although she was a princess, she could not be said to be loved, and eyes fulled with hate followed her everywhere.
She had run away for as long as she could remember. From the people, from the responsibilities of her position and her father...
This day too, she was escaping again.
She had always felt outside in a way she could not explain. She never managed to blend into that human pile. People were found her strange. She could feel that people didn’t want to be with her, and she was always looking for ways to get out of that kind of environment.
“There’s nothing I can do,” she murmured, kicking the first pebble stone that came out of her way when she stepped on the bridge. Octavia wrinkled her eyes absently as the pebble skipped off the bridge and then fell off the cliff. It must be very painful to fall from here, she thought.
In the past, she couldn’t understand why Octo was set so high, but now she knew. In order to explain her, her father filled a small amount of fuel into the glider, which was already a junk, and took Octavia on a small trip. Octavia was twelve years old back then and after a little short, she had faced facts of their world for the first time in her short life.
Much of the world in which they lived was covered with toxic gases. Octavia didn’t believe this at first and after making the mistake of removing her gas mask, she fainted because of the gases which filled her lungs. Returning home in a hurry, his father, Markus, smiled when Octavia came to her senses and said, ”You have been punished for not listening to your daddy.”
There was a great war. It was all they knew about the time before gases spread around the world. There might be ruins in the lands covered by gases that would allow them to learn about what happened in older times, but it was not possible to enter the lands surrounded by the gases. There were two ways to escape these gases: by going to a land without gas, or to flee to high places like the Parnethia Mountains.
The twelve cities were founded on the highest mountains in the world and were named in turn; Unus, Duo, Tres, Quattuor, Quinque, Sex, Septem, Octo, Novem, Decem, Undecim, Duodecim...
Once, these twelve cities ruled the world. There was no hostility or power struggle between them. They were in harmony. Olympics were held and joint projects were carried out. These twelve cities were prosperous, and this prosperity was provided by those living below.
Her father was silent while describing this part. It was obvious that it was an unpleasant subject, but at last he explained to her daughter.
In Octavia’s grandfather’s time, there was a riot. It was the revolt of the slaves to the people living among the clouds. ”I’m not judging them,” her father had said. ”Their lives must have been difficult. Twelve cities ... were rich enough to even have their taps covered with gold.”
And then twelve cities started to fall, one by one. First, Quinque, known for his people’s passion for art, had fallen and after that, other cities followed Quinque’s destiny. There was no longer a communication network between these twelve cities, but as far as King Markus knew, only three cities remained: Unus, Duodecim, and Octo.
Princess Octavia had never seen Unus and Duodecim before, but Octo was the most beautiful city for her. To be honest, Octavia felt very lonely here, and the city was crumbling like the bridge she had just walked through in disrepair.
Still, the view of the Parnethia Mountains was worth seeing. The mountain tops were covered with snow that did not melt even in summer. There was always a wind that tickled people. It was necessary to be careful not to fall from the cliffs and not to go outside the castle, but the main things to see were outside the castle. Octavia often came out of the castle and after a half-hour walk, she would reach the abandoned parts of the city.
Even if they were looking like once they were magnificent, buildings were out of date. Some of them was burnt, some of them collapsed, some of them was standing, but it was too worn out to use.
Octavia loved to take her breakfast from the castle kitchen early in the morning and cross the bridge to the old library. As the sun climbed to the top of Octo, Octavia would turn her back to the city and watch the sunrise. As the sun rise up slowly, the wind would vent Octavia’s short dark brown hair, and the young girl would then close her eyes and enjoy the solitude.
Today was no different from other days, but she was feeling very anxious and don’t know why. Her father often told her, “We are the ruins of an ancient world,” and the young girl wondered when these remains would be erased. She often had nightmares about a fire broke out and silhouettes walking through it. One of them was particularly familiar to Octavia.
As she approached the gates of the castle, a strong wind blew and Octavia suddenly swung forward. While she would normally be able to balance easily as she plunged into the sea of thoughts, she fell down when her feet got tangled.
When she opened her eyes that she closed during her fall, she faced with a cliff of Parnethia. If she had fallen a little further, it was possible for her to find herself in the air. She swallowed with fear and crawled on the ground and backed up, then got up, supported by her palms.
"I have to be careful,” she muttered and turned and headed for the castle. ”Otherwise, an endless fall will begin.”
Hi everyone, I am Serra, aka Hykatia.
This is my first story in English and as you can say, English is not my native language. Please let me know if I made any mistakes! And please comment down below, what do you think about the story. Have a nice, healthy day. ^^