( for those who are worried, the name on the cover is my pen name!)
I will be posting this on Royalroad.com
“Since I couldn't stop for death,
he kindly stopped for me;
kept the carriage but only ourselves and immortality. ”
It was a warm summer evening when Rae strode over the Elysium. She knew she had to hurry home before her mother got home. The Elysium, the marketplace, and the core of Xenos was always buzzing with life at night. Merchants, distant travelers, and soldiers were the figures that filled the market, along with other cruel types. Rae had always been amazed at the magnificence of the market and how it never stood still. The bookstall was her favorite stall, she could always be found there. Usually, she sat on the purple pillow with golden pearls that Darius, the owner of the stall, had bought for her. But today the weather was so beautiful that Rae had decided to read at the Old oak next to the river. She was so absorbed in her book that she had lost track of time and now had to hurry home.
Rae skilfully slipped through the crowd holding her shoulder bag tight, trying not to bump into anyone. The sound of shouting market vendors and people laughing filled her ears. As she passed the fruit stand, she realized she hadn't eaten anything yet and thought about stealing an apple, but quickly put the idea out of her mind when she saw the grumpy man behind the stand give her a hateful look.
"Grumpy idiot" she muttered and walked quickly on. Rae was near the end of the Elysium when she bumped into something hard and nearly fell backward. She looked up and saw a man standing in front of her who was at least two heads taller, she was not much taller than 5’3” feet, which didn't make it difficult for people to be taller than her.
The man's silk hood had fallen off from the hard impact, allowing Rae to see him. Short locks of black curly hair were revealed along with an angelic face.
The man had sharp cheekbones and a well-formed nose, a scar from his jaw to his eyebrows painted his face. His eyes were a violet-like purple that seemed to glow in the night. Rae's gaze slid to his ears, not pointed, not an elve, so she thought. The clothes were not in line with the normal clothes in Xenos, a traveler. Rae was extraordinarily good at spotting small details in just seconds, which of course she needed as a thief along with speed and a little bit of acting.
"Sorry sir, I don't know where my head is lately," Rae declared, giving the man a warm, made smile.
"Next time try to stay with your head here." the man snapped.
"I'll try," Rae promised with fingers crossed behind her back. The man and Rae each went their separate ways after his sermon. She finally left The Elysium after a few more quick steps. The sounds of shouting market vendors and people talking got lower and lower until it was nothing more than a murmur.
She was still grinning inside as she felt the adrenaline rush through her body. The man had not even noticed that she had stolen his amulet. Rae now took the thing out of her linen bag. She thought she was far enough from the marketplace. The amulet was a beautiful silver thing with a purple emerald woven into it by thin metal threads that ended in curls. At each end of each curl was a small black-colored diamond that gleamed under the moonlight.
Rae had never seen such a remarkable amulet.
It seemed like the amulet was calling to you with its seductive appearance. She looked it over again, then quickly put it away in her linen bag. The way home was only short and she knew by heart. She walked silently through the quiet streets, her copper-blonde locks swaying in the warm wind. She had finally reached the slums. She never lived anywhere else because her mother couldn't afford it since the houses in Xenos were extremely expensive. Only rich nobles or elves could afford a large house, and neither of them was.
As she turned the corner she heard the all too familiar sounds. The screams of the baby from Miss Olgarac, the neighbor. Mr. and Mrs. Yazkis shout, her husband had probably slept with someone else, Rae thought. Her house was already coming into view, it was a small brick monster with planks on the windows and torn cloth sheets on the door. Up Creeping plants and flowers decorated the facade, which Rae had planted last summer to brighten it up a bit. She was breathless when she finally reached the door and leaned gently against the facade to catch her breath.
"Tell your mother to be a bit quieter, she was shouting like a madman."
Rae looked up and saw Omar, their neighbor, standing in front of her with an angry look.
"Very funny Omar you have that delusion again?"
Before he could finish, she pushed Omar back into his house.
"Ask the grocer for your medicines, yes?" Rae said sternly. "Strange old men and their delusions," Rae grunted and sighed and walked back to her house.
She knocked again before entering and straightened her white flannel shirt again. She pushed the door, which opened with a soft creak.
"I'm Home Mom, sorry to be late, but Darius needed some help at the booth" Rae shouted around the house. She paused, no answer, strange? She quickly tossed her bag on the worn oak dining table and stormed up the stairs that creaked under her weight. She was at the top of the stairs and saw a light burning in her mother's bedroom. Rae let out an embarrassed sigh and hurried to her mother's room. "Here you are, I thought something was wrong," Rae complained. "Old Omar said you shouted all over the neighborhood, probably another of his delusions I said." Rae laughed and entered the room with a beaming smile. She stopped in the doorway when she saw her mother asleep in her bed. Rae paused for a moment before going back down. She had decided to let her sleep peacefully and cook for herself tonight. Not that she could cook well, the last time she cooked she and her mother couldn't get out of bed for a week because of the stomach ache. It gave her the creeps when she thought about it.
Rae sat down on the wooden chair. After long work and toil over dinner, she was finally ready. The scent of nutmeg and roasted nuts had already spread all over the house. She had made pumpkin and orange soup, decorated with nuts. It was her mother's favorite food and she would be ashamed to screw it up.
"It smells delicious here, did you cook?" Rae was shocked by the unexpected comment.
When she looked up, she saw her mother leaning over the railing of the stairs.
Lucia, her mother looked radiant as usual, even after just waking up. Her sky-blue eyes shone in the moonlight. She had straw-blond hair that was always up with a pin in the shape of a lotus and decorated with small gems, it was one of the most valuable objects in the house. Even though she was already in her mid-forties, she still had childish cheeks that made her look younger than she was. Any man or woman with eyes would fall for her. Rae, on the contrary, did not look like her at all. Rae had Copper Blonde hair that leans more towards steed. Emerald eyes that always shone with pleasure were probably the most beautiful thing about her appearance after her softly sculpted face with childlike features. She may have been seventeen but looked more like thirteen. She was seen in taverns as a child, which she could not blame for her height and flat chest.
“Correction, I tried to cook. And to make sure I passed, you can be the first to taste it, ”Rae began, as she went to get the plates from the kitchen. "I made your favorite dish, by the way, Pumpkin Soup" Rae shouted through the kitchen. Lucia had already sat down when Rae came out of the kitchen with two plates in her hands. She set the plates down carefully and eventually sat down herself.
Lucia carefully picked up her spoon from the table and dipped it into the full plate of soup. Slowly she brought her spoon to her mouth and swallowed the warm liquid. Rae looked at her expectantly and waited for her response.
"I'm not that hungry," admitted Lucia and put her spoon down again. She knew she should tell Rae, but couldn't. She would hate and loathe her, but above all, she wouldn't listen to what she has to say. Rae wasn't ready and Lucia knew it. She decided it was better not to say anything now.
“What, why aren't you so hungry?” Asked Rae incredulously. “Normally you eat for two orcs. Isn't it good? ” Rae kept rattling on. Lucia remained silent and just looked at her. That was enough for Rae to conclude that she had screwed up the food.
"Ah, that's it." Rae's head dropped a bit. "I can make it again." Lucia smiled and shook her head.
“It's not you baby, I'm just not hungry” Lucia repeated confidently “Tell me how was your day? Darius wasn't too hard on you?” Rae nodded and continued eating her soup, which she secretly liked quite a bit. Rae thought back to what Omar said and decided to ask. She could never contain her curiosity and this was no exception.
“Omar said you had shouted the whole neighborhood together, is that so?” Lucia was startled by her question and opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out.
"Forget what Omar said."
"But what if-"
"Not now Rae!" snapped Lucia. “I don't have time for this” Lucia brutally pushed her chair away and stormed upstairs without looking back.
Rae was left dazed with a ladle in her hand. Her mother had never reacted so vehemently, even when she sometimes did wrong things. This was not her mother at all. Omar couldn't be the cause of this sudden outburst, he was too innocent for that, she thought. He could be annoying at times, but never really hurt anyone.
Maybe Omar was right and that's why she got angry. There were thousands of options, but she didn't know which one was the one. What she was sure about was that she would eat alone tonight.
(first draft so unedited! grammar mistakes are possible :/)