Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chapter 1 Seed

My hands ache as I pull the rough dry weeds away from my tomato plant. Under my feet, the dirt digs into the crevices between my toes. The late morning sun is warming up, but it feels good on my skin.

This garden is my very small fight against the evil in this world. With my hands, I make life, nurture it until it bears fruit, and then use that fruit to make a nutritious meal or to trade for other needed items. The fruits travel to places I can't to offer their delicious goodness to those who take them. At least I assume they do. I know Michael doesn’t really have to trade them since he can take what he wants. But he leaves with some of the vegetables, and he comes back with things like flour, milk, eggs, and meat.

It’s almost afternoon before I remember that there are other chores that need to get done. It seems that something so engrossing can’t be good, but Michael hasn’t said anything about it.

Mark and Mel poke their heads around the corner.

“Edy, are you going to be out there all day?” Mark grins at me. He’s always most comfortable during the day when Michael isn’t here.

Melanie is close behind him, still unsure about the entire situation. She glances around nervously as if Michael will drop down out of his hiding place in the sky.

“No, I just get carried away.” I stand up and wipe my forehead. “C’mon, lets go in.”

Two months ago, Mark and I found a surprise sleeping in the bed next to his. At some point in the middle of the night, Michael had dropped off a young girl with no reason given.

“So, Mel, do you feel like talking yet?” Mark says casually to Melanie as we make the beds. I'm unfamiliar with normal fifteen year old boys since the one I grew up with was so unusual, so I don't know if Mark's easy grin is something that is normal. But he's been wonderful for me to have around the past year, and he's proved to be wonderful for Mel as well.

Mel looks from him to me before she shakes her head softly. Every day, Mark asks her the same question. He says that he does it because he wants to give her an opening in case she wants to talk about it one day.

“Okay, well then." He looks over at her with his genial smile. "You asked for it. Where do you find a no legged dog?”

Mel laughs before she even hears the groan worthy punch line. “Where?”

“Right were you left him!” Mark’s smile widens as Mel laughs again.

Each day she doesn’t feel like talking, he tells her a horrible pun which she is supposed to find "torturous" but instead finds hilarious. It hasn't made her tell her story yet, but the laughter has drawn her naturally close to Mark in a way that makes me jealous.

I'm not sure she always gets the jokes, but in the end it doesn't matter
. Her laugh is sweeter than any music.

Michael misses dinner. He’s been doing a lot more of that lately, and it makes me think something must be wrong. In the few years we’ve lived here, he’s kept a very strict schedule that I knew exactly how to follow. He'd be here for breakfast and dinner, and I'd be sure to prepare him a plate and have it waiting in the dining room.

But Michael stopped being easy to talk to on that one day which still haunts my memories. He became like all the other experiments-- distant with an edge to him than even I, as an ordinary human being, can tell means danger. Somehow, I doubt we will ever be able to be as honest with each other as we were when we were children.

After dinner Mark, Mel and I sit in the study. Mark reads a book on plumbing beside me and Mel practices reading out loud.

Melanie’s voice comes out softly, almost rhythmically, stumbling over words and reading others too fast. Suddenly she stops and glances nervously over her book.

Michael stands in the doorway of the study.

At the sight of him, Melanie almost melts into her chair in her attempt to become invisible. By my guess, Michael is only seventeen, but he has never acted his age. Even now, standing in the doorway, he is an imposing figure to the three of us humans all who have seen him do unspeakable things.

Michael doesn’t look at them when he roughly says, “Out.”

Mark hops up and quickly ushers Melanie out of the room. They give Michael a wide berth, afraid to touch him even accidentally.

He doesn’t even glance at them as he steps into the study. That’s how used he has become to the way he makes people feel. I stand up before him and fold my hands together in front of me. “I’m going to have people over. You’ll need to keep those two out of the way. Have them stay in their room or something.”

He doesn’t have to say who’s coming; I’m sure it’s the usual suspects. Michael only invites people he can trust into this house. If they are not invited, they can’t see it. A normal passerby wouldn’t even know we were here.

But if the kids are terrified of Michael, then they definitely won’t like his friends.

“Also, don’t spend all day in the garden.”

So he has noticed. It disheartens me a little. “All right.”

“They’ll be here in a few days,” he says before he teleports away-- most likely somewhere out of the house again.

Next Chapter -->


  1. Whoa, I wasn't expecting Michael to teleport at the end! I guess that's part of his mental abilities?

    In one of the background posts, you said that Michael and Edy met in the labs. Michael found Melanie somewhere along the way. How did Mark fit fall in with this group? Or is that something that will be revealed later.

  2. Michael is great at doing the unexpected, so I'm actually pleased that you were surprised there. I put "very strong mental abilities" because that was what fit on the picture. XD I'll explore some of his powers starting in the next chapter.

    Oh, that's a good question which I think gets mentioned in passing later on. The only way into the house is if invited by Michael, so Mark was dropped off by him too. He's been with Edy for about a year.

  3. Wow, this is fascinating, with the wildlands and the labs and the uprising and everything! This is going to be a great story! (No pressure or anything, lol!)

    I know you're just getting started here, but for some reason this is reminding me so much of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale - I don't know why because the stories are so completely different, but the mood and atmosphere is so similar. Have you read that? I think you'd love it!

    Michael is quite a presence, and Edy is so soft and accommodating - they seem to have a working balance. So he picked up both Mark and Mel, was that like a rescue? Were they part of the experiments too? I wonder if he'll pick up any more?

    I can't wait to see what comes next! :)

  4. I have never heard of that book, but that really DOES sound like something I would find fascinating. A lot of the scrap stories that I used to build this world were from the girl's point of view. Mostly because I'm a girl, and I am pretty sure I could more convincingly write and understand them, but also because in a world like this that's complete chaos, women would more often be at some sort of disadvantage. But then I thought, "You can't write just about the women!"

    I need to get to the library. *makes a note*

    Unfortunately, I didn't have room to fit in Mark or Mel's stories with this one. (Though they do have their own stories in my head.) It just detracted from Michael and Edy too much, but I couldn't write them out because Edy would be completely different if she didn't have them.

  5. I recently came across your site and I find myself intrigued by the world you have crafted here and look forward to reading more.

  6. I'm so glad you found your writing niche! This is my first stop, then chapter two, and three. I haven't read the backstory just yet, but something tells me I should!

    Michael is pretty cold--going off the info I just read. So, he is somewhat the alpha male in this household?

    I like that the house is invisible, though I'm curious as to why! Guess I should go find out!

    Also, I love the POV and the tense written here. It flows really well, and in a way I can kind of picture Edy writing this all down.

  7. It might not be necessary so read over the background so long as you know that the world they are in is not Earth. Maybe. I always have a little bit of trouble gauging stuff like that myself.

    Nice way to put it-- yes, I would definitely say that Michael is the Alpha male.

    I haven't put up the why for the house yet, but I will get to it. (Though I don't bother with "how" since Edy really wouldn't know. Michael isn't much of a talker.)

  8. Ooh gave me chills. What a presence Michael has! Intriguing storyline.

    Thanks for that dog joke, passed that on to my kids.

    Off to read the next chapter!

  9. Great start! As I was reading, I was feeling shades of "The Tomorrow People." I don't think that's where you are going, but there are similar elements: a group of kids living together, teleporation, and the fear of being experimented on.

  10. Fascinating beginning, I always stand in awe of authors who can create their own worlds and mythos, great set up here. And you have certainly given Michael a chilling, but masculine presence.
    Will read more soon!!

  11. Thank you. Yes, he's like uber stereo-typical guy-- strong and powerful, but somethings seem to go right over his head.

  12. Intriguing. Just so I read this with the right mindset, what percentage of Earth's science rules (gravity, magnetism, light, echoes, etc.) can I expect to function in this fascinating world of yours?

    It seems like there are going to be many layers of your characters to discover. I bet Mel has an especially scary history.

  13. Very good question! I am basically building off of what we know. It's isn't necessarily Earth, but I'm not completely redoing the rules of nature. At times, I might bend them a little though.

    Good insight on Mel. I won't get to her story in this story, but someday hopefully.

  14. What a great start! Love the header and quote.
    I feel immediately drawn to Edith, Mark and Mel.
    Michael seems very authoritarian... imperious almost.
    This may be a silly question but, apart from Edy, all their names start with the letter 'M'. Is that significant somehow?

  15. Thank you for reading Moondaisy.

    LOL, I've thought about the "m" thing too, and that was just accidental. I should've changed maybe Mel's name, but you know how sometimes a character and that name go together-- and Mark and Mel's names just fit too well.

  16. Oh wow. Oh wow. No seriously, oh wow. This is like A Clockwork Orange meets Margaret Atwood meets Lord of the Rings meets...loads of my other favourite books and authors!

    I love this story. I literally want to eat this story.

    Thank you!

  17. Oh, I loved that first chapter!

    I like Mel, but I am very curious about Mark, and especially Mel and her story.

    Michael is... interesting. I'm going to wait to make a judgement of him.

    I can't wait to see what else happens!

  18. I hope you all enjoy!

    Mark and Mel do have their stories, and I will need to get around to telling at least Mark's.

    Mel's will be hinted at in an upcoming chapter here. It was kind of a surprise that wasn't planned.