Author Topic: Chapter 1. When strangers meet again(revised) W/C 1,548  (Read 1508 times)

Offline beezy

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Chapter 1. When strangers meet again(revised) W/C 1,548
« on: February 15, 2014, 02:41:07 AM »
1842, London

Every night at approximately midnight, when the sky glittered of stars and the winds were a whispering breeze, Nadya Lovel would close her eyes, rest her palms together as if in prayer and wish for the same thing: a family.

There had been no specific reason as to why midnight was the chosen time. Perhaps it was because that was the exact time when Nadya had first made her wish.

She had been ten years old; a scrawny child with eyes too big for her face and hair too long and thick to tame. And it all started with a simple question: What happened to her parents? Orphaned at the age of five, she was raised by her only other living relatives: her uncle and his wife. Everyday the question lingered in her mind, but never would she voice it aloud because she feared her uncle so. He would always look upon her with such hate in his eyes that Nadya went out of her way to avoid him completely. But for some reason she had suddenly blurted it out in front of him without even thinking.

That was the day she had gotten her first serious beating from her uncle. Her lip was swollen with a nasty cut, and her arms were covered black and blue. She had been instructed to stay inside her vardo for the remainder of the evening without supper. She was to never ask her uncle or—anyone, anything about her mother or father ever again.

Later that night Nadya had found it impossible to sleep. Her limbs were sore, her head ached, and her stomach growled in pain. After spying a nearby clock indicating it was midnight, she looked out of the small bar covered window toward the heavens with streaks of tears running down her face. She closed her eyes and wished for a mother that would hold her while she went to bed; a father strong and wise to guide her; a brother to argue and play with; and a sister to look after. She had poured her heart and soul into that wish, using every ounce of her energy. And then finally after an hour, had fallen asleep.

Thus began the tradition. Every night that followed she wished, and every morning when she would awake upon the hardened floor of her vardo, she called herself a fool for believing that a nice loving family would somehow appear before her and whisk her away.

Now at the age of nineteen, Nadya thought she had outgrown this silly desire. Wishes were for children, and she was no longer a naive ten year old gypsy. She was practically an adult; it was time for her to start thinking like a sensible one. So when her tribe moved to London a month ago, offering new sceneries and faces, Nadya was determined to put her longing behind her. The wishing had ceased, but the yearning she felt had only intensified. It grew stronger every day and occupied her thoughts constantly. For once, she wanted to feel apart of something, to be loved; wanted.

And so, at approximately midnight in the middle of her campsite in the woods of green forest, she slipped out of her vardo and made her way toward a nearby oak tree, calling herself a fool with each step. Certain that she was alone, she quietly approached the large tree and rested her back against its bark with her knees pulled up to her chest.

Nadya sighed softly. It was a sort of sigh one makes to oneself as if saying why do you insist on trying when there is no point?

After years of making the same wish without any inclination of it coming true, one would think she would have given up and accept what her life was. But to accept her life meant to accept the ways of the rom baro; the gypsy leader of her tribe. Otherwise known as Marko. Or if one wanted to be specific with labels, her uncle.

Nadya balled her hands into fist. Her uncle was not a pleasant thought, or a pleasant person for that matter. He was an ill-mannered beast with a wild temper. Despite her lack of familiarity of a loving family, she knew that how her uncle treated her was not how family treated one another. And so she did not consider him relation. She would rather cut off her own arm then acknowledge the bastard as her kin.

Nadya closed her eyes and pushed the thoughts of her uncle out her mind. Here we go again she thought grimly. Wish one million forty three. Nadya let out a humorless laugh. "Wish one million forty three and counting," she said under her breath.

As she assumed the familiar position of clasping her hands together for the one millionth forty third time, Nadya heard the faint sound of footsteps approaching. In fact, the sound was so vague and soft, that if it hadn't been for the stillness of her surroundings, she wouldn't have heard anything at all.

She immediately opened her eyes and sprung to her feet in rapid speed. She doubted it was Marko, for his steps were heavy and arrogant as if he were a king. Not soft and dainty. But Nadya didn't want to take any chances. Because if it was her uncle, she would no doubt get a beating just for the hell of it. Nadya had eventually come to the conclusion that he simply hated her and could not stand the sight of her face. The feeling was mutual.

Nadya braced herself for the oncoming intruder. However the figure now standing before her was not the tall and overbearing rom baro with fists the size of hams. Instead it was a slender woman wearing a white cotton dress and golden bangles around each wrist. Her dark hair tumbling near her waist. It was Marko's wife, Drina.

"Drina," Nadya said in a surprised tone rather than a greeting. Because really it was midnight. Aside from herself, it was a usual time for a person to be sleeping. What was her aunt doing out so late?

"I thought I would find you out here," Drina said in a calm manner, as if she found it completely normal to be conversing with her niece in the dark.

"Is something the matter?" Nadya asked curiously, trying to contemplate all the reasons why Drina would have ventured outside.

Her thoughts were interrupted by her aunt's voice. "It's your uncle," Drina said. It was too dark for her to notice the way Nadya's eyes glinted dangerously. She hated the very mention of him. "He has told me," Drina continued,"that he wishes you to," she paused slightly as if trying to find the right word, "explore," she finally managed, "the city of London."

Drina was completely unaware of the anger seething from Nadya's skin. She had scoffed at the word explore. After all these years, her aunt could still not say what her uncle really meant. "You mean steal again," she said acidly.

Drina folded her arms uncomfortably like a child getting scolded. "Yes."

Nadya shook her head. She could never fathom, especially in her youth, how a woman like Drina could have ended up with a man like Marko. One of life's greatest mysteries she supposed. Drina, who had been the closest thing of a mother to Nadya, was once very beautiful with flowing black hair and deep brown eyes. She had the type of face and body that would turn the heads of men and stir envy in the eyes of other women. But overtime, Drina had become victim to Marko's assaults and her beauty faded and withered into an aging woman of sixty-five instead of thirty-six. She was never cruel to Nadya but nor did she display any affection in fear of Marko's wrath. Instead she would give Nadya looks of sympathy and occasional squeezes on the shoulder as if to say "things are going to get better."

"I have already made my rounds last week," Nadya declared. "Why must I do so again?"

Drina sighed. This time it was a sigh that one made to say "please don't argue with me."

Nadya looked up at the sky for a moment, taking in the beauty of the stars while simultaneously wondering how much longer she could live like this. After a few minutes of silence, Nadya finally gave up and said, "Okay. Tell him I'm going."

"Make sure to be back before sunrise," Drina murmured softly.

Nadya longed to shake her aunt and tell her to leave. To run away to a different tribe. Hell, Nadya would join her. But she knew Drina's fear of Marko would never let her make such an impulsive decision. And so, although Drina was not one to show love and compassion, Nadya could not bear to leave her aunt alone with such a cruel man. She gave her aunt a weak smile. "Of course. See you in a few hours."

And with that, Nadya turned and made her way out of the forest toward a path that led to the streets of London. Where she once again would have to become the very image people accused Gypsies of being: a thief.

Modified to add word count.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 09:40:02 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »

Offline TKSelbach

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Re: Chapter 1. When strangers meet again(revised) W/C 1,548
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 11:09:11 AM »
I really don't know what else to say about this story, except that I totally loved it! :D

I got a really good feel for your main character. Nadya seems to have a lot of personality, which I'd definitely look forward to seeing again. I also liked Drina's character, as well as the unnamed uncle. Both seem very interesting, and I was able to learn a lot about them from this first chapter.

I think my favorite part about this would probably be the ending. "And with that, Nadya turned and made her way out of the forest toward a path that led to the streets of London. Where she once again would have to become the very image people accused Gypsies of being: a thief." This ending was perfect for this chapter: it concluded the plot of this chapter, and yet left the reader wanting more.

All in all, I'd really like to read more of this. Will you be posting more chapters soon? :)

Offline Skylan

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Re: Chapter 1. When strangers meet again(revised) W/C 1,548
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 01:57:17 AM »
Seeing as beezy was last active in February, I doubt we'll be seeing an update. :P I did enjoy this though.