In the Dark: Chapter One

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((From n0w on this story will be replacing Avery Trudge, as I felt Avery Trudge was… well, not that great; the only original concept was the fact that Avery could hear the narrator, but without much coming from that it ended up as a few character archetypes solving one dimensional mysteries. Thus, I decided to end it.))

I swing my backpack on and hurry out of my room, taking the stairs quickly lest I’m seen. My parents’ room is on the ground floor, and so I slow to a creep as I reach the stairs’ bottom. I open the door out of my house swiftly, knowing it doesn’t creak; it is midnight and the moon is new, but my vision is impeccable as I step down the porch stairs and leave the property.

I am on my way.

I know my destination, north of where I now stand, in a small town located square in the middle of the state. How I will get there, I don’t know; this is a test, one that I am not allowed to study for. I begin walking, taking a left down the residential street. I am, at least, skilled enough to read the shadows and I know that nobody is around to disturb me, so I speed up to a jog. As long as I don’t make a commotion, I can reach a major road unhindered.

It’s peaceful, in the dark. Only a few nocturnal creatures break the calm, and so I am alone with my thoughts–even if I might not be thinking much at the moment. Why anyone could prefer the day, noisy and bright and stressful, I do not know. Though it will be a break from the solitude I’ll go through over the next few days, I cannot wait to be around those who feel the same.

But no matter; the Disciples of the Night adapt easy, and if I am truly one of their ranks I will too.

So I continue walking, attempting to shut off my mind as I do so. I have not been all alone in the night in weeks, and it’s necessary for my education that I familiarize myself with the dark, learn to read it. Discover its secrets–for, unlike the day, there are always secrets in the night.

It’s amazing, what travels through the gloom; a raccoon walks perpendicular from me, though its destination is in the opposite direction, in the forest to my left; a barn owl perches above it, though I can’t tell what it might be doing; and then there’s something to my right…. I can just barely tell it’s a human, far away from me, though I can’t figure the exact distance. The human is also traveling north, in almost the same direction as me. Another Disciple, maybe. Or some innocent–or not so innocent–soul who doesn’t concern me.

I alter my course, crossing the empty street and continuing along, mapping out a path; the other human is also following a road, and if I take a right at an upcoming intersection our paths will cross. If they are a Disciple, the company may be welcome; I could learn much from an outside source. If they aren’t… I have means of defending myself.

It is a few minutes before I near the human, who is now some ways ahead of me–he or she wears a hooded jacket, so their outline is all I can see. I pick up my pace, nevertheless keeping silent as the night around me.

As I hoped, the figure stops and bristles when I get maybe twenty feet away; it isn’t until I step next to the human that he or she speaks.

“It’s awfully late.”

The voice is male; I turn to him, and he looks back at me–a strong, sharp face with light hair just barely escaping the hood.

“I like the dark,” I reply.

He nods and we continue walking together.

“Not very observant,” I say, too curious not to speak.

“I set out an hour ago,” he says. “Didn’t feel the need to keep a long watch out.”

“Hmm.” He’s not talkative, as I would expect, but he’s reckless and his tone irks me. I don’t want to learn from someone like him; we’ll be parting ways.

I soon get a chance to do so; a fork in the street, both branches of which will reach the same basic destination. I am to the left of the male, and we wordlessly take our respective side’s fork.

Once again, I am alone.

But I don’t mind.

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