Darklands, MG Feb 8, 2019 17:46:14 GMT -5
Post by debbiev on Feb 8, 2019 17:46:14 GMT -5
I've had mixed responses as to whether 2003 should be considered historical or contemporary. It's set in that time because advances in medical science (cancer treatment) kept changing the story. Picking a year allowed me to complete the work.
Thank you for any and all feedback.
Darklands by Debbie Vilardi
Chapter 1: Fear
Ronny moved the Randy Keisler card from his Yankees pile to his Padres pile. “But Steven, what if one of us gets traded?” he asked.
I slid back, crushing my comforter behind me. “We won’t. They can’t. We have to be on the same team, and it has to be the Yanks.” We’d been planning our future together since the day we learned we both loved the game.
“We could negotiate to stay. I’d take a dollar to be on the Yankees.”
“You won’t need to. We’ll be too good to be traded.”
“That’s right. We’ll be the next Graig Nettles and Lou Gehrig, except they’re from different times and we’ll be out there together tossing the ball for warmups and nodding across the field to each other before the first pitch of every inning. We got this, we got this. Man, I can’t wait for the season to start.”
“Me neither.” Spring training was my favorite thing about February.
My door pushed open. “It’s after eight,” Dad said.
Ronny gathered up his cards while I slipped my best ones into their sleeves.
“See you tomorrow.” Ronny jogged across the street as snowflakes floated around him.
I locked the door.
“Steven,” Mom called from the kitchen. “Don’t go back upstairs. We have something to discuss with you.”
My stomach tightened. My parents had been whispering behind my back for a couple of days.
A glass shattered. “Dang,” Mom exclaimed. “Not again.” If we’d broken another one recently, I didn’t know about it.
“It’s okay, Maria.” Dad said.
It’s just a glass. I backpedaled from the kitchen doorway and focused on Sir Bright Star, my imaginary alter ego, instead of trying to figure out why the glass was a big deal.
Bright Star ran past the court stables. His fingers tingled with excitement. A summons from the King could only mean another adventure awaited him.
King Olaf stood in the palace courtyard with a scroll in his hand. “Sir Bright Star, I have a quest for you.”
Bright Star bowed his head.
“Take this parchment through the Darklands to King Isaac at the desert’s edge. Don’t open it and don’t let anyone lay hold of it. Do not fail or darkness may well befall us all.”
“Sire?” Bright Star’s head stayed bowed so low he could smell his tunic. “Forgive me, but none has dared the Darklands in a generation.”
“It must be so.” The king lifted Bright Star’s chin. “You are my best and bravest.”
Bright Star nodded. “I’ll be ready to enter them at first light tomorrow.”
Glass pieces clinked into the garbage can. The cabinet shut.
I collapsed into the most comfortable living room chair, Dad’s chair. My parents passed me holding hands. The lemon bleach of dishwasher soap followed them to the sofa. Mom kept hold of Dad’s hand in her lap. I couldn’t look at their faces.
Best and bravest.