Hello everyone! Starting behind I was sure I was going to be behind until the end of the month. So far since I have caught up I have been behind only once, and then only by less than a thousand words. I am happy to say that the novel is coming along well. Unlike past iterations of Shao Island, I have a concrete grasp of where the book will go.
Word Count: 35,166 Words
I have decided to give to you the whole first chapter, unedited. This way you can get a feel for where the story starts. You may recognize the beginning of the chapter from an earlier post. Stay tuned as I may provide more content from the novel.
Keep Reading to read the first chapter of Shao Island.
Passing a leather ball between the two of us, Chelsea and I raced down the streets of the merchant city. We dodged and weaved around those who were selling their wares and traveling the streets. As we ran we took turns throwing the ball harder and harder. The competition being fueled by each other.
I grabbed the ball and threw it extremely hard at Chelsea. When the ball left my hand I knew it had flown too hard but it was too late to take it back. It thwacked like a rock into Chelsea’s side. She looked at her side, then at me. There was fire in her eyes as she cranked her arm back to throw the ball at me.
Right as Chelsea released the ball she crossed into the path of a cloth merchant, hitting him in the head, and causing him to topple his cart.
“Damn you kids!!!” He bellowed in annoyance. “Don’t you know to watch what you are doing and that the street of the merchant city is no place for your games…”
His voice began to calm when he took a look at Chelsea. I glowered at her from my side of the street. She was turning her green eyes on the man. Very few people could turn away Chelsea’s charm when she turned her eyes like that. Matched with her brown hair she looked as if she were part of the forest itself. Sometimes I even had a hard time staying mad at my sister when she did that.
“I guess I can forgive such a pretty little lass this one time. Don’t let it happen again though.” Rubbing his head with one hand, the merchant picked up the ball with the other and handed it back to Chelsea.
Looking both ways for carts this time Chelsea crossed the road onto my side of the street. A bell tolled five rings. It was time for us to get home. Our parents set strict times for the family meal. Despite dad’s job, whenever he was in town we would have dinner as a family he said.
“First one home is a sore loser.” Chelsea took off running while I was still standing around. She expertly dodged and dived between people, carts, and buildings. I glared at her. It was a challenge that I could easily win if I wanted to trip her up. Chelsea would never forgive me though if I used that on her.
I started running. It was only a matter of moments until I caught up with Chelsea under my own steam. We were twins after all. Most of our physical ability was the same. We both trained in fitness as well as military arms.
Upon arriving at the gates to our family house we found them wide open with none of the men at arms guarding the gate. There should have been at least one man on the gate. The family of the King’s Own was afforded protection from the city guard. We looked at each other and then walked slowly into the courtyard.
Looking around in the courtyard there was no sign of anyone working. Chelsea started running towards the entrance to the main building, the ones where our parents should have been at this hour.
“Wait,” I begged quietly.
Like usual she didn’t listen. I walked up next to the door, trying to listen into the house for a minute. All I could hear was Chelsea’s feet slapping against the stone tiles that made up the main hallway. Slowly I drew my knife from my belt…
Back and forth my body went in a rhythmic pattern, I opened my eyes. I was looking up into the eyes of a college age woman with fine straight black hair and brilliant blue eyes. Her frown didn’t take away from her beauty as she looked down at me.
“Are you okay?” She asked.
For a moment
“Wha-t?” My mind was jumbled as I woke up.
“Are-you-o-k-a-y?” She asked as if I was a person who needed a little extra “special” attention.
“Oh, yes. Sorry, you woke me up from a dream.”
“Do you make it a habit to fall asleep under a tree in the rain when its cold out?”
“No, I only do it when pretty women might wake me up.” I teased.
“You must have hit your head.”
I smiled up at her. “Nope, I don’t think so.”
“I am Alyssa Branch.” She said holding her hand out to me.
I reached up and grabbed her hand and she hoisted me off the ground. Her thin physique was deceptive. She was strong, not as strong as one of my kind, but strong for a human.
“I am Jaylin Alexander, it’s nice to meet you.” As I got to my feet I used my hand to shake Alyssa’s.
“Nice to meet you too. Are you from around here?”
“I have lived here for quite a while. My family lives on the outskirts of town in a protected land. Our family has owned it since before it was protected.”
“Wow, that must be nice. I bet you see a lot of wildlife.”
“We do. There is a deer family that lives on our property. Squirrels, raccoon, birds, they are all prevalent on the property. If you go back far enough there is even a lake.”
“I would love to see it sometime.”
“I think we can make that happen.”
In the distance I could see my mirror image in female form stomping toward me. Chelsea looked as if she was on a warpath. This wasn’t going to end well. “Say Alyssa, that girl over there is my sister. When she gets over here she is going to break this up. Do you think we could go out tomorrow? Maybe go to the Magic Island Cafe?”
“That sounds like a great plan.”
“When are you out of class for the day?”
Her face turned thoughtful for a moment and Chelsea strode in. Alyssa was distracted though. “You two look identical.”
“That’s because we are twins. I am going to have to take my dumber half away from you.”
I frowned at Alyssa, she had yet to give me a time to meet her.
“4 pm.” She choked out as Chelsea glared at her. When she turned back to me I swore that I saw a glint of red in her eyes. As a child her eyes had made people love her. Now her eyes made people scared of her, when she wanted them to.
I let Chelsea pull me away from Alyssa despite the fact I was happy about it. She held my arm as if she were my mother all the way to her Chevy Camero that was parked in one of Shao Island College’s parking lots. The sleek black car was barely a year old and it was one of the possessions that Chelsea treasured the most.
Leaving me next to the passenger’s door she threw herself in the driver’s seat in anger. I slowly opened the door and helped myself in. Anger radiated in Chelsea’s face and I tried to make my face match it.
“You know that we aren’t supposed to get close to anyone!”
“For all you know I was just trying to make a new friend!” I bellowed back.
Barely looking behind her Chelsea through the car into reverse and pulled out of the parking spot. Chelsea barreled down the small island roads of Shao Island. If I didn’t know she was a good driver through years of experience I would have been freaking out. As it was if I weren’t so angry I might still have been freaking out.
“Just because you are scared of losing people doesn’t mean that I have to be. You may have been hurt once but you need to get back on the damn horse and stop being such a selfish little brat.” The words left my mouth without me even thinking about them. Pain appeared on Chelsea’s face and I started to regret my words despite the fact they were the truth and they were exactly what I felt.
“I don’t want to lose people, that is right. I don’t want to see you lose them either. Anyone who has ever gotten close to us has been killed.”
“That doesn’t make it right to shut away the world.”
The last few minutes of the drive home went by in silence. When we pulled up to the garage in front of our house we went our separate ways for the night. After having lived in this house for years, we had moved to different wings. That way, during times like this, we wouldn’t have to be around each other. Years of living together didn’t mean bliss.