Thursday, 22 September 2016

Days Without Dawn - Chapter One

So, as mentioned previously I completed the draft to my third novel.
It's still a work in progress as there are only a few of the twenty chapters that I am 80% happy with, including my first chapter.

I still have a long process to go, but it's exciting and I am proud so for a little taste, I have provided the first chapter down below if you are interested.

Days Without Dawn
Chapter One
It was dark. It had just hit the hour of four in the morning. The sky was covered with a thick blanket of dark grey clouds that were beginning to slowly slide away and reveal the stars that are left with only an hour to put on their twinkling display before they disappeared behind the bright rays of the sun. Cadell hoped for a shooting star to pass over. He did not believe in their so-called magical abilities of granting wishes, but now was as good as any time to start.
He’d seen many shooting stars sitting in this exact place before, when he hadn’t come alone. When it was still early enough for cars to still be driving along the road nearby and there wasn’t a thick layer of fog embracing him and his car. He regrets not making wishes on them. He regrets not closing his eyes and hoping with all of his being for something to happen to him; for his biggest desire. But he never thought that he had anything really to wish for. He wasn’t trying to be modest or anything. A pay rise at work wouldn’t be too bad. A complete paid holiday, sure. But he was happy and he had everything he wanted.
Now on the other hand was a completely different story. He knows exactly what he would wish for, but no stars leaving a flash of a bright streak in the dark sky disappearing into the abyss ever passed over him.
And instead he finds himself sitting in his regret that he hadn’t wished for everything he wanted to never disappear.
Cadell reached for his packet of cigarettes that lied on the tray beside him. To his disappointment they were empty. Beside them lay the squished butts of the packet he had smoked throughout the entire night while he had waited and hoped.
Cadell sat up from the alloy tray of his ute. He slid himself off the metal that was freezing against his skin, stepping into the fog and upon the ground that he could not see, slowly moving away from his car. He could make out a tree not so far away - a few meters or so, standing still on the field, its silhouette small against the sky.
Cadell could see his breath in front of him, joining the mist as he walked and breathed heavily with each step. He headed directly for that very tree, approaching it before punching it hard in its cold trunk. The tree didn’t shake, didn’t move, and didn’t flinch. He punched it again.
Cadell couldn’t feel the pain in his knuckles; didn’t care enough to feel the physical pain, but he could feel the other kind of pain; the one that dwelled behind his eyes, in his chest, in his stomach and in his lungs with each breath. He punched the tree again. He was so angry. So angry.
He was angry at the fucking clouds for covering most of the sky; for hiding the shooting stars and keeping their miracle powers for themselves when Cadell needed them, more than ever thought possible. He was angry at the clock-work of this world and for the questions that had no definite answers but mostly for the questions that did. For the things that were inevitable and unchangeable in this world he thought he had accepted. He was angry he had no power. He was powerless against the course of events, himself, the people he loves the most. He had no more power than this tree, standing alone, that towered over him with its thick branches and wide trunk; that yet was still so tiny in comparison to everything.
Cadell dropped to the dirt and onto his knees, the pain in his knuckles becoming not so painless anymore. The aching in his chest began to heavy and he wanted to fall further down, into the grass and the dirt and become nothing more than a part of the ground he stood on. He cried out, loudly, into the fog and at the tree and at the cloud covered sky and at the few stars that he could only barely see. He cried out for her, yelling, tears slipping down his cheeks, as if she could hear him if he cried out just loud enough. But only the tree was his witness and even the tree could not hear. No one could. He was alone now. And there was nothing in this world that could turn anything back. Nor bring anyone back. That was the way of this world. That was one thing the world knew for sure. One of the very few definitive answers in this universe. Everyone leaves.
He sobbed. For the first time that he can recall in a long while, years perhaps, but he knows it will not be the last, he was sure of that. He cried out again, angrily, sad but mostly broken. He cried out to the ground and to the tree and to the stupid sky. He cried and shook and his clenched knuckles began to throb with pain. He cried until there was nothing more to cry then he wiped his eyes with his nicotine stained fingers. What now? He wondered. He had no clue. The world had no answer for that. No answer on what to do next. How to cope. The world only did what it always did and expected you to figure out the rest.
He bent forward, resting his head against the cold and damp earth. He could lie here and never leave. Hope that the earth would take him and grow over him as it had with many creatures before him. But that was not an option. He knew that at least.
He sighed, his breath blowing into the dirt and his wet cheeks catching grains of the sand. Then he sat up, taking another look at the slowly clearing sky and hoping that after all these hours of sitting here, that now would be the time a star shot by, providing him with a miracle or even some sort of hope. But in the distance, across the near-empty field, the few trees that scattered the clearing and above the outline of the forest far away, he could see the faint light of day entering. Its pale blue seeping into a bright orange, lighting up only a fraction of the sky.
He half expected it not to come and for it to forever be night. For dawn to never come. But the day always returns, even when people don’t.

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