This week is going to be a bit longer post, so bare with me. The piece that is down below is still in the very early stages of editing and it is also the first time I wrote about my two favorite main characters: Jerron and Havoc. This is a story that I would eventually like to make into a longer piece, but for now, I hope that you enjoy the really unedited short story, The Garden.
I am standing in a bright room. A forbidden room. The floor falls out from under my feet. I am still standing. Gazing downward I see comets shoot across the floor, stars shining.
A weight becomes apparent in my hands. An apple, a bite taken and then left to rot in my grasp. I try to drop it. Nothing happens. I try again. More nothing.
A shadow comes next to me. A dark figure so cloaked that I can see nothing of its form. Nothing of its gender. A gender-less nothing.
I look around me and am faced with glass walls and a door which I already know is locked. Winter is set deeply in, snow piling on the dead and fallen trees of the world outside my glass box, but still balancing on the universe.
Beings I couldn’t recognize roamed the world outside of the cage, the stars shining in their skin. These beings were large and small, with horns or wings, large teeth or with none at all. These beings were known as … dinosaurs. That was what Master called them. As time passed the beings changed, morphing into different creatures.
The setting outside began to change as well, the forest covered in snow, turning into rugged mountains and clear skies. Creatures flew through the sky on large wings and made squawking noises as they passed. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
The creatures morphed once more, but this time their form was obscured by the storm that howled around the room. I could feel the wind battering against my face. The form beside me long forgotten, but still there. Thunder and lightning cracked outside and hit my glass box. I am mesmerized by the world that keeps changing, but I don’t notice what was happening to the glass box.
With each crack of lightning and roll of thunder cracks would appear in the box. My mind was swimming in the knowledge of the world being shown to me. The floor beneath my feet gave way, and I felt myself fall into the cosmos.
Before I could disappear, the door to the room flew open and light burst into vision. Arms wrapped around me and I felt the air rush through my hair as I was dropped on the floor outside door to the box.
I knew who was standing there without looking up. “What in God’s name were you doing in there, Jerron?” Master stood above me and brought his hand down hard on the top of my head. “Do you have any idea what could have happened to you in there? The Garden is not a place that a student should be playing!” Master was a prodigy. He had graduated at the age of 15 from his own master when most students didn’t graduate until they were 20. He was considered one of the best Descendants in existence. I am proud to be his student.
I looked up at Master and quickly looked away. He was fuming. “I…I’m sorry Master. I didn’t think it would hurt.” I stood up and tucked my bangs back behind my ears. Master sighed and put his hand on my shoulder.
“I understand your curiosity, Jerron, but there are rules to becoming a Descendant. You must stay out of The Garden until you are ready. If not, you could severely damage yourself.” I stood there, uncertain of what Master meant. There is a lot that I don’t understand about the world and Master only shared what was important at the time. Even at the age of 17 I was not trusted with information about the world before our current one.
Master sighed again and ran a hand through his hair. Master was only four years older than me, but that age gap seemed much larger given the difference in knowledge. Finally, having decided something, Master grabbed me by the shoulder and dragged me down the long hall of the mansion that all the Descendants lived in.
I stumbled into the room behind Master and saw that he had dragged me into his personal study. I went to sit down in my normal chair but ended up getting pulled onto the couch next to Master. “Master, wha-”
“Havoc. Call me Havoc in here, Jerron. It’ll be easier that way. Besides, there is only four years in between us. It feels weird having you call me ‘master’. I would prefer if we could be friends sometimes – that would make what I’m about to do a lot easier. I need you to listen to me closely.”
I nodded and my eyes followed him as he began pacing the room.
“Decedents are special beings. We are trusted to be the gate keepers of the world that existed before our own – the one that existed on the surface. The generations before us destroyed their world and forced us down into the very heart of the world we were told was ours. Once we got here, we found that the world held onto the secrets and past and would choose special people who it would then entrust its knowledge to. We call them Descendants.” Havoc paced the room and moved his hands as he spoke, looking at me occasionally.
“A special place was made by the earth that encompassed all of the magic and knowledge that we have. That is The Garden. The Garden is a place where our mental barriers are challenged, and the bounds of our mind are stretched. The glass box that you see represents your mind. The cracking was the boundaries of your mind being expanded. It went too far though and shattered the floor, allowing the storm to come inside.” Havoc slowed his pacing and walked over to the bookshelf, pulling a book off and holding it gently in his hands.
“When a student or Descendant go into The Garden without someone else, they run the risk of damaging a part of their mind.”
I tried to catch the name of the book in his hands, but it was obscured. All that I was being told was new knowledge to me, but I still didn’t understand one thing. “Master – I mean Havoc, what was the shadowed figure? There was someone in there with me. It didn’t talk to me, but it didn’t do anything to help me either. What was it?”
Havoc went pale at my question and I wasn’t sure what to make of that. He tightened his hands on the book and looked around. “That is a question better asked at another time.” Havoc walked over to me and placed the book in my hands. “For now, turn to page 394 in this book and we can begin a new lesson.”
I took the book that was offered to me and opened it. Once to the page I saw it was black. The book slipped from my hands and consciousness faded.
Havoc carefully picked the book up off the floor. It was unfortunate, but Jerron couldn’t remember what had happened today. That would complicate a lot of things and permanently damage his mind. That was something Havoc had to prevent at all costs. If what Jerron said was true, then the shadowed figure should have stopped him from getting inside. The only way for him to have opened the door was if Havoc’s suspicions were correct.
The shadowed figure was the guardian of the mind. It was something that each person created when they entered The Garden. Most students were protected by their master’s guardian since most students are unable to make their own. The fact that Jerron was able to was beyond anything that Havoc had imagined that he would be able to do.
That wasn’t the only thing that bothered Havoc though. In order for someone – anyone – to intrude on The Garden while a guardian was present meant that there was a type of soul connection between the two people. Bottom line: Havoc never should have been able to reach him unless they were bonded.
Havoc didn’t want to complicate Jerron’s apprenticeship anymore than he had to. If he had told this to any of the other masters, they would have told him the truth no doubt. For now, the safest thing was just to temporarily wipe his memory… again. Havoc could keep a closer eye on him without suspicion then.
Sitting down next to Jerron, Havoc brushed the bangs out of his face and rested a hand on his head. It was hard to believe that the person he was bonded with was a boy this young and innocent and that only made Havoc’s job as a teacher all the more difficult. The world was full of terrible people and events, but the only way to ensure that Jerron made it through the next 3 years was to stay as close as possible to him without making him feel pressured into anything.
Havoc knew when the time came, he would be able to talk to Jerron and tell him everything, but in the mean time he would continue to guide him as he had for the last 2 years. One thing never changed though: The Garden knows many secrets.