@dakota @mayacat @urwen-starial @kayla-skywriter @esmeralda-gramilton @naiya-dyani
This is a part for my newest character: Chance. You can read about him in the character doc. 🙂 Sorry if there are mistakes. 😑
The dim light of a candle flickered and danced in one of the yawning, glassless windows of the old, burned out factory building; casting eerie shadows on the crumbling blackened walls. It was not a window facing the street as one might expect. Instead it lay on the back of the building and the candle shone into a narrow space between the buildings that looked more like a passage or tunnel than a street or an alley.
Outside the building, the tiny flame shone like a beacon through the darkness. Despite the coldness of the city around it; it bravely stood alone. The cold wind blew on it and it’s light flickered, but a hand from beyond the window reached out shielded it from the glacial blast. It stood strong again, glowing through the helpful hand. The hand retreated back through the window into the building. There was a strange wonder about how much light the candle brought. Though it was only one small candle, it seemed as though it could brighten the whole city if only it was given the chance.
Inside the old factory the light shone on a face that bent near it, over stacked chunks of concrete acting as a table. It was a strange face. Though beautifully proportioned and pleasing in it’s expression, it was somehow haunting. Perhaps it was its pure otherworldliness and the strange resemblance it had to that small candle.
It was the face of a young man. As though absorbing the light of the candle, his pale skin seemed to glow. His lips moved as, with fingers stiff from cold, he jotted out words and accompanying notes on a scrap of half-charred paper. The hand that held the pen was thin and intricately shaped, with long, deft fingers and a small, strong palm. He wrote as much as he could fit on the small scrap of paper, cramming the words together with tiny handwriting.
When finally he ran out of space, he surveyed the song he had just written. His face held a thoughtfulness that brought out the best in his stunning gray eyes, making him seem far wiser than his nineteen years could account for. But there was sadness in those eyes as well. It was as if somewhere deep in the heart that lay under his gray mockingbird uniform, there was an ache that could never be extinguished.
He raised his eyes to the tiny flame and peace shone on his face in a sudden, but quiet smile. There was tragedy in the smile, yet bravery as well. Almost as soon as the smile came, it was gone. As he glanced through the window and saw snow beginning to fall, the smile came back again and deepened, claiming even the saddest curves of his lips. But again it was instantly gone. As the candle flickered with the growing cold, he once more stretched out his hand to shield it. Fondly, he gazed from it to the snowflakes drifting gently down as though they were both dear friends.
Suddenly there was a soft knock. A slight movement of his lips was his only sign of being startled. He looked towards the door and, standing up, walked quickly to it. Opening the door, he looked down to see a little girl standing there with the glow of anticipation lighting her small face. When she saw him, her eyes lit up and she ran at him, throwing her arms around his leg, she squeezed it tightly.
“Chance!” she cried. Releasing him, she pulled the hat from her head and put it in his hand. “I bought yarn with the money you gave me And grandma made me this hat! Isn’t it just beautiful?”
Chance looked down at the hat in his hands. The yarn was not the finest, for fiber was scarce in Outopia now that most of the farmers had lost their sheep and many of the cotton fields had been burned to the ground. But the hat itself was beautiful. The stitches were even and tight so that there were no holes for the winter cold to seep through. The design was well matched with the lovely deep red hue of the yarn. The hat band was ribbed and topping the hat was a puffy fur pom pom.
Chance smiled. He was forced to blink back a tear as he looked at her. She stood with her hands clasped, the snowflakes landing in her long wavy brown hair and her blue eyes shining with delight. She bounced on her toes and twirled around before asking again, “Isn’t it just beautiful?”
“Yes. It sure is,” Chance knelt down and, brushing the snowflakes from her hair, pulled the hat back over her head. “Now your ears won’t freeze off Leila,” he pulled her into a hug.
Leila wrapped her arms as far as she could get them around his back and squeezed tightly, burying her face in his chest with a contented little sigh. He pressed his face down against her head and shut his eyes. The snow fell gently down around them, creating a beautiful picture in stark contrast with the ugliness and darkness of the city.
These two were best friends. The bond between them beat fiercely in both their hearts. No other child in the city knew what it was. They all loved Chance, but none had come this close. Everyone wondered when they saw the two together. The age difference between them seemed non-existent in their minds. She had knowledge beyond her years and wasn’t Chance still a child at heart? With her he could try to live some of the innocent childhood that was stolen from him.
At last their arms loosened around each other and she raised her head. He smiled at her. “Are you alright tonight Chance?” she asked softly.
“Yeah. I’m alright. Come on inside. It’s cold out here,”
He stood up. She slipped her hand into his and squeezed it tightly as he let her inside and shut the door. As she saw the candle, she let go of his hands and ran to it. She cupped her hands around the tiny flame. He went to her side and gazed with her. She smiled at the little candle and looked up at Chance.
“Even though he’s so small he’s so brave out here in the cold.” She said softly
“Just like you,” Chance whispered
She looked up at him, a lovely smile flashing across her face. “Really?”
Chance nodded, returning her smile.
The slight glow of bashfulness and pleasure dyed her cheeks, “Sometimes it’s hard to be brave, Chance. But when I see this candle shining in your window it helps me.”
“Me too,” he sat down on the old chair in front of the window.
“It helps me be brave because I know you’re here. I see your hand shield it from the cold and it reminds me how much you love me.” she sighed “It helps me not think about what’s been making me afraid,”
“Lots of stuff,” she said evasively as she climbed into his lap and laid her head against his shoulder. Her eyes held a very serious look as they fixed on the little candle.
She didn’t speak for a moment. He waited expectantly, knowing she would open up when she was ready. He didn’t have to wait very long. She drew a long breath and finally spoke in a tiny voice, “Thinking about the rebels. . . and the fires,”
Instinctively Chance put both arms around her and held her tightly. The small girl sighed heavily. She snuggled closer against him and trembled, pressing her face into his neck. She sat there a few minutes, til her trembling calmed. She lifted her head and looked up at his face.
“Are you afraid of the rebels Chance?”
Chance sat for a moment, thinking before he spoke, low and thoughtfully, “No. . . I’m not afraid of them in themselves. I’m afraid of the turmoil the spirit of rebellion will bring to the city and the inevitable conflicts between the rebels. . . and us,”
“That’s what I meant. You’re just so much better at expressing yourself than I am,” she pressed her lips together thoughtfully, “I guess it comes of being so little,”
Leila sighed again. Her eyes fell to the paper on the concrete block and her eyes lit up. She jumped up and clasped her hands, gazing at him with sparkling eyes “You wrote a new song didn’t you?!”
“Oh please, play it!!”
“If you’ll go get me my violin from the corner over there,”
The girl ran and brought it to him, then dropped down on her knees at his feet. Her eyes sparkled and shone. Chance picked up the battered, old violin case and lifted a beautiful violin out of it. He set the violin carefully in his lap and took out his bow. Setting the case on the floor, he lifted the violin to his shoulder. The small girl before him, leaned her arms on his knees and rested her chin on her arms, her eyes fixed on his face. As the first few notes filled the air, her eyes grew wide and her face shone with delight.
A sudden surge of energy seemed to rush to her tiny body and she leaped to her feet. She began dancing around the room. No one had ever taught her how to dance. But she had so much natural talent. Her movements were graceful and fit perfectly with the sad and mournful tones of the music. She made quite a picture with her brilliant red hat against a drab brown, oversized coat and the white skirt of a night gown peering from underneath the coat. But what did the clothes matter when her heart and soul came out in her flying feet?
Chance played with his eyes fixed on her. Not once did he glance at the notes on the paper; already he had learned them by heart. The music brought an entirely new look to his face: a beautiful contentment and peace. Color rushed to his pale cheeks. A smile took hold of his lips as he watched her.. The look of tragedy was completely gone. His face seemed to glow with a light from deep within his being.
All too soon for both, the music had to end as the last notes of the song faded into stillness. As Chance lowered his violin, the light faded from his face, leaving it even more pale than it had been before he had begun playing. It looked almost gray in the faint moonlight coming through the window. The candle had gone out.
Leila’s dance ended, mid twirl. The fire faded from her eyes as well. They gazed at each other for a moment, motionless. Chance’s gray eyes seemed to melt as they slowly filled with tears. Leila could remain still no longer. She ran to him and threw her arms around his neck.
“Chance.” she whispered.
Chance could not speak, he held her tightly, trying to choke down the turmoil of emotions that tossed in his heart.
Music was his confession. When he played, all of what he was feeling came out in the music. All the hurt and torment from past memories; all of the pain from the present; all of the fears and hopes and dreams of his heart were poured out in the form of notes on his violin. But only those keen enough in the ears of their hearts could hear it.
Leila raised her head again. Tears glistened in her eyes as well. She sniffed audibly, “It- it has words doesn’t it Chance?”
He nodded wordlessly and, picking the paper up, handed it to her. She read, slowly and carefully. When she finished, she looked up at him with tears rolling down her face. She reached out to hand the paper back to him, but he shook his head. She nodded and, clasping it in her fist, hugged again, quickly. Then, pressing a kiss on his cheek she stood up, and without a word, crossed the floor with slow, burdened steps. As she opened the door she stopped and blew a kiss to him. He returned it and watched as she turned and disappeared behind the closed door.
Sold souls and dead promises