Updated: May 22
This was the start of a character back story that turned into a co-op story with a very dear friend. Here is Part 1 of a fantasy story where two very different beings, from two different walks of life, collide in an adventure that neither of them wants to take part in.
The goose down comforters made a warm nest that threatened to smother her in pleasant promises of dreams she was never meant to live. Sunlight washed over faded fuchsia and lavender flowers, midnight blue thread lovingly stitching the comforter in places where the worn material required patching.
Serie blinked at the light, taking offense to the cheery birdsong that signified the morning had already started and was leaving her well behind the longer she dawdled in her bed.
Almost too long fingers drew back the covers and the young woman slid her feet out from under the comforter, sunlight dancing across sinewy legs before her nightshift fell to cover the discolored skin.
She hated bright sunny days. The world outside was full of laughter, children chasing each other gleefully, grownups smiling and going about their tasks. There was little chance of her sneaking out into the streets unnoticed when the sun was out.
Her hand went unbidden to the abnormal growth right behind her temple, it’s twin on the other side forming a spiral that curved behind her ear. The protrusions were ribbed and hard to the touch and Serie knew she was not normal. Her skin was a ghastly pale blue that reminded her of the washed-out colors on her comforter.
Black hair fell around her face as she leaned out of the window just far enough to draw the shutters closed. Latching the window shut, she pressed her palms to the wood, feeling the heat from the sun against her flesh.
Dreams of running through a field of wildflowers, butterflies clinging to her hair and laughter ringing in her ears flashed through her thoughts. Irritated, Serie mentally grabbed it, ripped it to shreds and shoved the pieces into the dark recesses of her mind.
She could hear the Jade Blossom coming alive beneath her feet, women starting to clean their rooms and get ready for breakfast. Serie had the attic floor all to herself. She shared it only with the old furniture and out of use costumes the women had either outgrown or lost interest in. Serie didn’t mind.
She had spent so many years here the days had started to blend together. The women of the Jade Blossom always made sure to take care of their strange little house guest. To be sure, Serie knew she couldn’t leave, but she appreciated that they doted on her and treated her like a welcome guest, instead of the disfigured monster she truly was.
Again, her hand went up to one side of her head, fingers brushing against the growths that were barely visible beneath her hair. Inhaling deeply, Serie pulled her hair back and tied it with a yellow ribbon she had appropriated from an old corset. Now that her hair was pulled away from her face, her high cheekbones and long neck stood out sharply in the mirror as she turned her head back and forth to make sure the ribbon held.
She hated the way she looked with her hair drawn back but it made her chores so much easier without her hair constantly falling in her eyes. Ignoring her reflection in the mirror, Serie set about her daily tasks, the first of which was returning her empty dishes to the kitchen and helping to prepare breakfast.
Next Chapter: The Marques Who Wants to be a Hero