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Edge of Power
Chapter 1

by Sam Hackel-Butt (Age: 25)
copyright 11-04-2004
Contest Winner


Age Rating: 10 +

When the mist’s clears, and when the sun rises, the mountaintops can clearly be seen. Trails were scattered throughout them. But one mountain was the most popular, and was almost bare, save for grass, flowers, and trees. Weeds were non-existent, and so were those with hatred in their hearts. On the top of this mountain, stands a temple. This is where our story begins, in the temple of Vita.

~*~

The goddess of life, the powerful and mighty Vita watched carefully over the great island of Aliquis. She would spend her days by one of the windows, gazing out. Treetops extended over the tiny villages, almost shutting them from her sight. Fisherman stood on docks bringing in the days catch, struggling with the nets. She could see weary travelers slowly making their way through thick forests, trying to find a place to camp for the night. The soon-to-be-setting sun lowers ever so slowly, teasing her before the peaceful night comes.

It had been years since anyone had come to her temple. They had never seen her of course, but she enjoyed watching the people come in and tell tales of her. She would hide in the wall, sometimes making things move for the young children, sending them shouting and laughing and running about. Their parents would get annoyed, and take them out, but not fast enough for Vita to make treats appear silently in their pockets, as an apology.

Absentmindedly running her thin fingertips on the windowpane, she suddenly saw a darkness surround a section of the island she couldn’t control. Storm clouds gathered, threatening the villages below with heavy rain and loud booming thunder. A flash of lightning illuminated her expressionless face. Turning her attention away from the window, she swiftly walked over to a circular stone table in the middle of the large stone room. It was a single room temple, shaped as a huge octagon. Pillars held up the domed ceiling with paintings and engravings on it. There was only one entrance, one exit. Walls were few, as they were made up of windows, separated by thin pieces of wood. The only wall was at the back of the room, holding up tapestries describing the creation of the island. Pottery stood in the small corners the windows made when they met, in elegant colours of green, purple, and blue.

She stared at the carvings in the stone, and waited. There were very few people who understood this form of writing, and she hadn’t come across anyone who could read it for hundreds of years. The ancient writing began to move and form a word in the air: Dariel. Her eyebrows raised, eyes widening. How could her brother be in Aliquis?
“Impossible,” she muttered out loud, but was interrupted by the sudden swirling of the letters. They spun so fast, that a dark cloud formed above the table. She peered into it, seeing a man. He was a muscular man with shoulder length silver hair and dark grey eyes, flashing the occasional red. He was smiling and sending young men and woman, bearing weapons and powers far too great for them out to the rest of Aliquis. His clothing was that of a sorcerer; long flowing robes in the colour black and a red belt with a holster for something hidden by stray material from the robe. He looked just as she thought he would, and just the same as last time they met.

Behind him, hidden in the shadows, was a boy of around eight-teen. Only a stray ray of light illuminated his eyes and forehead, and he too, had flashing eyes. His eyes flashed a light yellow. Over his left eye was a gash whish bled freely. Blood trickled over his temple sliding easily onto his cheek. The way the boy held himself, he seemed like a smaller version of Dariel. She hoped that the boy wasn’t Dariel’s son.

She turned her back on the cloud, and slowly walked away, deep in thought. It still played images of the present, sound muted out. The only sounds heard were her footsteps, pacing around the room, and the occasional boom of thunder. Suddenly, a bang came at the door. She gasped, turning around quickly to face the door, a man followed by five others came rushing in.

”Goddess!” he cried at the empty room, tripping over a bootlace and stumbling in. His hair was a watery blue, lower check bone length with long bangs. He wore high boots of brown leather, and a khaki colour tunic with white pants. He was a young man, no older then thirty-two.
”We need you’re help,” he cried again, falling to his knees in front of the table. The rest of the men followed, bending one knee and removing hats.
“Dariel has begun taking over the island,” he said. His voice was full of sorrow and sadness, which was almost drowned out by panic.
“The few of us from the villages were lucky to have made it here in time. They’re moving fast, murdering woman and children, taking the men prisoner.” He paused, to wiped his forehead on the hem of his tunic. “Please, powerful Vita, save us from them, save the great island Aliquis from darkness and death.”

Vita surveyed the men. Indeed they were from different Villages. All close around the mountain, but a few further out. There was a man from Caron, dressed in reds with a mop of brown and copper coloured hair, clutching a sword, with the blade on the floor. There was the man from Sarit, the man with the watery blue hair. Another man with white-blonde hair plastered to his head from sweat, and wore faded yellows and boots of rough wolf skin, was from the village Miok. He wore a bow over his shoulder, and quiver on his back. Vita was surprised to find someone from one of the furthest village of all; Faroi He was only wearing a pair of faded pants held up by a rope. He was bare footed, and a cloak seemed to be balled up at his side. The clasp seemed to have snapped in the strong wind. His face was scarred in many different places, and his hair, which was currently wrapped in a kerchief, gave him a mysterious look. And finally, the man from the capital of the island, Meltzker, was moving his lips in a silent prayer. Next to the man from Faroi, he looked even more splendid, simple, but splendid. His clothes were fitted, not leaving anything hanging, or pulling the fabric too tight. They were brightly coloured in silvers and faded gold. He wore the headdress of a priest, and was on both knees, nose almost touching the floor. His arms were outstretched in front of him, lips moving in silent prayer.

For once in her many years of listening to the prayers, and thoughts of the citizens of Aliquis, Vita used the symbols on the table to ‘talk’ with the men. She made the letters swirl in the air with the wave of her invisible hand.
”Dariel and Vita will do battle,” she wrote. The men looked at the table, a scared expression on their faces until the priest from Vitskal looked up, got to his feet, and walked over to the table, to begin translating. So she wasn’t the only one capable of reading it. She had to push the happiness and relief down to her toes to keep her mind on controlling the symbols. The man from Sarit quickly backed away from the table with fear.
“You’re descendants, will fight the great power known as Dariel in a thousand years from now.”
”Why won’t you fight?” the man from Meltzker questioned fearfully.
”Because Dariel has tapped into a power only our youth can defeat. Dariel is the Demon of Death. My brother.”
There was a sharp intake of breath, and the man from Sarit gasped, grabbing onto the tunic of the man from Miok, who was in front of him.
“In the next few hours, I will make myself visible. At the present time, gather an army, and fight his followers the best you can. Evacuate villages and have them take refuge in the cities around the mountain. Now go,” The Priest read as the man from Sarit opened his mouth to protest. Before they got up, she sent a wind through the room with a single wave of her hidden arm. They left and closed the door, not knowing she had taken their essence. She waited till they were out of sight before acting.

She was about to act, when the door swung open. A woman, wearing foreign clothing; possibly Japanese, came tumbling in. Kimono torn at the bottom, and dirty from the mud the rain had created. As soon as she caught her balance, she walked over to the table and leaned against it. Vita could feel her pain, her sorrow. Still invisible, she left the wall, and surrounded the woman in warmth.
“Vita,” she began in a whisper. “I know you are there, for your brother is real.”
Vita didn’t falter. She didn’t respond.
“Listen to me,” she said, voice quivering. “Dariel is corrupted; he’s chased me off, for I do not believe in his wicked ways. I’ve been alive far longer then anyone I know, next to Dariel. Dariel has kept my age a secret, as well as my true aomplexion. But by leaving, I have sealed my own fate. His spell on me is weakening, and soon, I shall be a corpse.” Her cheeks began to hollow out, her black hair turned grey, then white. She began to shrink, her skin loosening.
“All I ask is for mercy. Mercy for my son. Save him from Dariel’s evil ways.”
Vita caressed her face, as her eyes began to close. “He’s only a baby… only 17 years old… Thanx to a mortal mother…” She took a deep breath, and instantly vanished. All that was left was her Kimono, and a pile of ashes.

She put the men’s essence into a gem, assigning it a colour according it uniqueness and unique power. She then gathered the woman’s ashes, and placed them in a gem, which instantly turned white. The colour she had wanted was purple, but white would do. She was soon interrupted by another cloud, this time including sound. She quickly turned her attention to the cloud. Dariel was preaching to the people.
“Vita doesn’t exist, as I will prove. I will send an army to the temple of Vita, and destroy it. If you’re goddess will not save you, no one shall, for I will control the whole island of Aliquis!” There were cheers from an invisible mass of people. He raised his hand and they stopped.
“Vita is nothing but a story used to give you hope when things go wrong. But I don’t-” He said, looking around. “See her here.”
He flashed a wicked grin, his eyes flickering. He kept rambling on and on about how he has proven his power. Vita’s heart shook from anger. Again, he flashed a white smile. Vita’s hands trembled. He’s denying his own sister!

Unable to hold onto the gems any longer, she slammed them down onto the table. Not looking back to see if they were broken, she slipped out the door. One the silver gem fell to the floor and rolled around to until it rolled out the door, and down the mountain.

Her anger drove another storm, her storm. Pearly white clouds followed her, as she drifted down the mountain, crimson dress flying madly in the strong wind, and long, raven black hair falling loose from the rather large bun at the nape of her neck. She landed in the village of Sarit, startling many people. The village was the high point of small trades. Everything was made or grew there; wheat, barley, corn, berries of all kinds, as well as herbs to heal, and parts for wagons. Sarit was one of the villages that sent people to her temple once a year to offer thanks for a good year, or to ask for a better year.

Children ran to the safety of their mother’s skirts, men stood on the spot, observing as she touched down and began to walk down the main street leading right to the forest. No one approached her. No one spoke. Her fists were clenched from anger. How dare he tell these people that she, Vita who created the island, was a fable, a legend? Her brother shall pay. He never used to be this bad, but why must all good things be challenged by evil?

Her anger grew as she left the village, causing a light rain to fall. She eyed Dariel warriors hiding in shrubs as she left the village. Black scarf’s covered their faces, orbs of black energy stood waiting on their palms. When she took no real notice of them, they attacked. Not missing a beat, she beat their attacks away and sent them flying with her own blast, killing them instantly. Her anger grew, if that was still possible, as she walked through the dampening forest, finding more Dariel warriors. She killed them all, except for one.
”You,” She said grabbing a man in his late twenty’s by the neck of his tunic, and lifting him a few feet off the ground.
”Take a message to Dariel for me.” The man was twisting and turning, trying to break free of her grasp.
“Refuse, and I will kill you. Not a fast death either,” She replied, eyes twinkling with anger. He stopped and hung there silent.
”Tell Dariel the goddess Vita will pay him a visit, and she will be there in the next hour or so. Got it?” She said, letting him go and giving him a little push. He nodded his head and ran off. Vita on the other hand, sat down on a log, face in her hands, hair tumbling to either side. Only now was she regretting that she had killed those men and woman. But she had to. They were going to kill even more. She had to make sacrifices for more lives. She lifted her head to look at the sky. Black clouds were getting closer to her. She had to move quickly.

An hour later, Vita stood at the foot of the village Varete. The clouds were thicker and darker here, and rain fell in heavy sheets, making it difficult to see. She must have found the source of the darkness.

She walked through the village, or what was left of it. The houses looked as if they had been burned down. Only the foundation remained, and a wall on some. Parts of the roofs were missing on the houses that remained in tact, glass from windows were broken and lay in the street. Dead bodies with their eyes open, staring into the sky lay in the houses. Torn clothing and curtains flew freely with the strong wind. Broken spears and knives lay forgotten on the ground, collecting water droplets. Carts were turned over with wheels missing. Dead cattle could be seen in fields behind houses, and birds no longer occupied the village, on account for there were no tree’s. The once beautiful village of Varete had become a ghost town.

Making her way through puddles of mud and avoiding glass, she made it to a rather small house at the end of the village.

Lighting shot through the air and was quickly followed by a bang of thunder. The house was actually a little shack at the foot of a mountain leading into a cave with a series of tunnels. She stood a good distance from the shack, and sent a piercing light from her finger into the middle of the mountain. It wouldn’t kill, but morph whomever it touched into a thing of beauty. She prayed it would hit Dariel, that way this whole thing could be avoided. But it was aimed for the woman’s son.

Seconds later, the mountain erupted in light, and deafening blasts. The rocks came hurling down as people ran out the mouth of the cave, covering their heads with their arms. As soon as they were away from the danger, the people started looking around for the one responsible for the destruction. Not bothering to fade from view, Vita stood still, watching the action without much interest; Dariel or the boy hadn’t evacuated the crumbling mountain yet.

When she turned her attention to the angry warriors running her way, there was another explosion on the mountain. Everyone’s attention was shifted, and stood still to watch, everyone but Vita. Thinking quickly, she crouched down. Lifting the end of her soaked dress a little bit, she took a double pointed dagger from a strap around her ankle. Staying down, she watched as Dariel flew up from the wreckage, holding the boy tightly to his body. The boy wasn’t unconscious, but seemed to lack the strength and power to do anything. His eyes were closed, and his 18-year-old body was limp. His fingers lightly held onto Dariel’s shoulder. On his face was the look of agonizing pain, and Vita noticed Dariel avoided touching the boy’s back. She had succeeded in hitting him.

They landed a few feet away from where the rock had settled, and disappeared in the rain and dust. She was on her guard, trying to see through the dust. Her body was tense; she held her position for what seemed like hours. Her muscles became tight, and it hurt to move. Finally the dust started to settle. Dariel was standing in front of his men, his army. His eyes were red, but on his face was the clear sign of amusement.
”What’s this?” He said, moving towards her, smiling another evil smile. Vita didn’t dare move. She was out numbered, and he was stronger then her. Holding the dagger tightly in her hand, she started to stand up.
”What a lovely young sorceress,” He replied to her movement. “Are you going to grant me an encore?”

She could see the mockery on his face, and his hand clasp around something on his waist, hidden by his robes.

”Oh dear me, where are my manors?” He said, stepping even closer. “My name is Dariel, future ruler of Aliquis,” He bowed low, and offered his hand. Vita soon realized that he didn’t recognize! They hadn’t seen each other for thousands of years. He thought she was some woman who had come on her own free will to take on Dariel. Vita smiled uncontrollably.
”And what is so funny, my dear?” Dariel asked.
”What’s funny is what you lack in knowledge.”
”And what is this knowledge I lack,” He asked mildly.
”Who I am, and what I am capable of,” She said simply. “I would think that a sneaky little rat like you would of expected me. I guess not.” She glared at him, eyes narrowing.

Before Dariel could reply, there was a gunshot, and Vita turned around to see what was going on. Behind her, was a massive amount of men? She thought they were too scared to actually come out of the safety of their homes to fight. She was wrong. There was one on a horse holding a rifle, and others on foot. They’re must have been hundreds of them. They bore weapons of all sorts, but mostly wood sticks with carvings on it, and bow with a quiver full of arrows. Swords and spears were scattered, and she could see a medicine wagon pull up on the most right side of the mob. Their faces were set, and they were ready to lunge when the sign came.
”Your army?” Dariel laughed.
”Yes, my army. And have you figured out who I am yet, or is your knowledge really non-existent? “
The smile faded from his face, and his grip tightened on what ever was on his belt.
”You poor, misguided girl. Relying on Vita to save you after you’ve opened that pretty little mouth of yours to me. I guess the fear of me hasn’t sunk in yet,” He slowly raised his free hand to the sky, and the rain stopped. All that was left was his dark clouds, dripping clothes, and puddles of mud.
”Now what do you say we get out of the mud and somewhere more comfortable and talk about these powers you have?” He stepped even closer to her. He was now arm length away. She watched him carefully as he put his hand out yet again.

She spat at him, and then said, “I’d rather die.” She glared at him hard, daring him to do something.
He wiped his hand on his robe, and then flew up, screaming, “Then you shall!”

There was suddenly a war cry from the army behind Vita, and they all went charging towards Dariel warriors. Dariel brought back the rain, and it was worse then ever. The clouds seemed to be closer then ever because everyone felt the ground shake when thunder boomed.

Vita had to act fast. If they couldn’t see their enemy, they were doomed.

”Enough Dariel!” Vita cried out. She waved her free hand above her head making the rain stop.
”I shall not let you have Aliquis.”
”And how will you stop me, my dear sister?” He shouted from up above, finally figuring out who the woman was who apposed him.
She did not answer. Instead, she chanted something under her breath and the blade on the dagger began to glow a shade of red. It began to shake and quiver. Everyone watched, puzzled. Finally she cried out and stabbed the ground. It immediately began to shake and split.
”It is no longer Aliquis, Dariel,” She shouted above the rumbling “I banish you to that poor excuse of an island. You will not be able to cross the shore of my island as long as you live. And mark my words, you shall be defeated sooner than you think.”
There was cheering and applause from the Vitarians, so loud she was sure the warriors on the other piece of land could hear. Angry, they hurled energy orbs at them. The stopped as soon as they realized their magic could no go past Vita, who stood on the very edge, watching the separation. The dagger was now back in Vita’s hand.

Dariel slowly drifted down in front of Vita and floated there, gazing into her eyes.
”You have gotten stronger and wiser, I must admit,” His arms were crossed over his chest. “But you won’t always be there for you’re people. We both know you’re growing old, even for a goddess. Another thousand years or so and you’re gone.”
Vita stood still, not letting him see the impact the words had on her. He was right she was growing old. Demons lived longer then Goddesses, as strange as it sounded.
”Then we shall meet again then, Dariel.” And with that, she disappeared.


After Vita disappeared, Dariel sent men to the island to destroy the temple. The people of the island were furious, and fought them back for years, until one day, they awoke and it was gone. Vita in the meantime disappeared from the eyes of the people. She lived at the base of the mountain in a little cottage, in the thickest part of the woods. She spoke to no one except animals. For a thousand years, Vita made the object that would destroy her brother. She made it was a cold heart, having to put it down every so often, to collapse in a fit of anger, smashing jars.

Only when she completed it did she notice there were only five gems instead of six. The silver one was missing. Panicking, she went on a quick hike around the ruins of her temple, only to find her stone table in tact. It was now housing a family of doves, who lost their home when the temple was destroyed. She blessed the doves with long lives, and without a backwards glance, she left, very disappointed. She should of taken that few extra seconds to look back, for in the beak of a beige dove was the missing gem.

**

Chapter one is very long, I admit.




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        10-16-2005     Mary Smith        

SUPER!!!!!!


        10-16-2005     Mary Smith        

It's

        10-16-2005     Mary Smith        

It's the saddest storie I've ever read! It makes me think of the song Fate Is Beautiful- By Sailor Neptune!

        10-16-2005     Mary Smith        

Cool! i love it!LOL!!!!!!!

        09-15-2005     Leigh Gilholm Fisher        

Man! Sam I had no idea how great you were at writing books! This is the 1st one I have read and it is great. Your idea is really great! You told me about some of your books but I had no idea how creative you were with your ideas! This book has great poetical. I can't Waite to read the rest! The idea with Daiel and Vita being related and the life-Span thing is great. The thousand year pause and the gems are a great addition. I am gonna start nagging you about chapter 10 after a while! This is awesome and I think you should go into mare detail about the thing with Dariel's son. It could make a conflict later in the story. Great one! Easy 5.

        08-28-2005     Euna Park        

O.O O.O O.O

Wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow

Just some minor stuffs. ^.^
Is kimono really supposed to be captitalized all the time?
'Her eyes twinkling in anger' doesn't really sound right.(this is when Vita is holding that soldier captive) You could try 'Her eyes gleaming in anger' or 'Her eyes flashing her anger' or 'Her eyes dark with her anger' or something like that.
'Oh where are my manors' when Dariel (sorta sounds like Darien *wink*) meets Vita? 'Manors' should be 'manners', right?
When Aquilis is changed, you say 'Angry, they hurled energy orbs at him. The stopped as soon as they realized their magic could no go past Vita...' Shouldn't 'the' be 'they' and 'no' be 'not'?
Second to last paragraph...'She made it was a cold heart...' that should be 'with' right?

Just that sorta stuff here and there, but this was a really good story theme, and you bring it to life. Good job.

        12-10-2004     Paula Tsvayg        

A
May
Zing
You have talent girlfriend!
The first chapter to what I predict will be a very wonderful and interesting book.



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