Death is never an easy topic. More so a child’s, and even greater is the pain if it leaves half a twin behind as collateral damage.
Rose reached the staff room, sat down and began rocking Emily. It was deathly quiet. From his office the Head made the worst phone call of his life, staring out of a window overlooking Norton Road. He could hear the sound of sirens drawing closer, see students, staff and parents in bits all over the playground. He knew in his staff room there was a child that had just witnessed a horrific accident involving not just a friend, but an identical twin sister. For some reason he also knew she was dead and the rush of paramedics to the scene was not going to change that.
He also knew he would not work here anymore.
Extract from “Letters of The Amanuensis – A Chronology of Events – The Twins.” Edited.
As I looked through time an event became clear. Focussed and entirely wrong. It destroyed a family, a man and created a paradox. Twins separated by the skin of two worlds touching. Something has gone very wrong and a darkness is spreading. The dead man screams in dreams, a witch queen has escaped and a dark sorcerer tries to unlock the door to the human world. I must know more.
Are you dead girl?
“No, I mean yes…and no. It’s dark here and I want my sister.”
Would that be Emily?
“Yes, do you know where she is?”
“Please tell me, I need her to survive.”
“Can’t or won’t.”
“You’re mean and I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”
The girl is a child and she cries.
Fingers flicked the edge of a page. The candle flickered, momentarily, but not unnoticed. The Amanuensis looked up, his head not moving from where it lay beneath a dull brown hood. His candles never quivered, never burnt dry or extinguished. Something had reached in.
Girl, are you still there?
“I have a name you know.”
Chloe, dead in one world and alive in another.
“If you say so.”
How did you die?
“Him… it… the cloaked man thing. I don’t really know really. I was there one minute and a van came and then I was here.”
Did you see him?
Can you describe him?
“He hurts me.”
The Amanuensis stood and placed his hands upon the dark oak before him. He read the rest of the entry to himself. It was not pleasant. Two worlds, two twins and two sorcerers. This necromancy and a witch queen that fled.
He shuffled his notes looking for the original manuscript bearing the full account of the tragedy. Written by an unskilled Scribe, an acolyte too shocked to care for such things as good word-craft. It was raw and desperate. Clues lay within the parchment. The candles flickered again. A sign he thought true. Ripples in Time were growing. At the top of the page were the words…
Unseen his brow furrowed in thought. Dragons and blacksmiths… a third world gone wrong. And the connection? He sat down again drawing more parchments towards him. D was next. As sure as C for crematorium preceded it, D was for David Arthur Williams. The man in the script that changed lives.
It was after the following summer half-term before Emily bravely entered Houghton Lower School again. She only did this for one week, and never moved from the desk she once shared with Chloe. Her hazel eyes no longer rich in the vitality of life once commented on in the staff room by the now missing Kelly Norris.
No longer was there the infectious smile and witty banter. In fact reflecting back Mrs Smythe could not actually recollect hearing her say anything at all. However, it was the child’s eyes that scared her the most. They were truly haunted and in a different place. You could look into them and see the depths of an abyss from which you might never escape.
It was the saddest week Mrs Smythe ever endured.
The LeSage family moved before term ended.
What to include here and what not to was tricky. The scenes used come from a traumatic piece and has touched readers before. I chose two excerpts from that. Neither actively mention Chloe alive. Not in Houghton Fengrave (our world). The Amanuensis touches all worlds and even he found it too terrible to include the full transcript here. It was referenced though, and was the very first thing the acolyte he mentioned ever wrote. His words hold true too. It is raw and un-proofed.
As always, feel free to pass judgement in the comments section. All words are welcome.
Well, Gary…if that is your very first piece of writing…can’t wait to read the book!
I hope going through your manuscripts for this A-Z challenge, doesn’t mean your are going to edit/change to much.
Thanks Patty, part of this challenge was to get me writing something regularly. Revisiting the manuscripts via the new character is proving very fascinating to me. Probably doesn’t make a great deal of sense to anyone else though! The Amanuensis is developing into a strong character in my head now too. He’s beginning to form a history. Might have to see where it leads over the rest of the challenge!
Thanks for dropping in and hope alls well xx
Wonderful post!! Saddening to see the twins separated.
Very sad I think. It was my very first piece of writing and triggered events after. Many of those found in this appear in other manuscripts. Thanks for reading them too!
It was worth my time!!
Wow. That is intense stuff. I applaud your ability to keep the narrative thread moving forward smoothly. I didn’t get confused despite the interruptions and unusual format. Well done! Happy A to Z!
Thank you Lillian, the whole idea intrigued me after the Amanuensis character appeared. If I’m honest I didn’t know if it would work or sound too confusing. The exploration through my manuscripts can’t reveal too much for obvious reasons, but I wanted to toy with teasers to see if I could actually write something that might make people curious.
That and force me to get writing again!
So far so good though I think!
Intriguing pieces, I felt like the Amanuensis found an old manuscript with pages missing (although I know you write he read the whole thing to himself, it was easier for me to picture it that way), reaching into emotions and other words via the remaining pieces.
My blogs in the A to Z: Self discovery via travel and a separate Interactive story.
Actually you are not far wrong. I have him with parts of the stories, but not knowing the later events. Some manuscripts he has, others are incomplete or damaged. The ones he has have been fully read so he knows event sequences but not everything. Obviously I can’t reveal too much as these are all from actual book manuscripts of mine. As are the extracts and characters.
My motive for doing it this way is partly to force me to revisit my work and help with another project. I know it may seem muddy to many, but that’s also deliberate to reflect the Scribes own mind….or mind if you like!
Many thanks for your feedback too. Really appreciate it.
I liked it this way. It made me think and work a little harder to create a link between the pieces that made sense to me.
Thanks, it’s tricky trying to balance it and not cause too much confusion. The other thing to keep in mind is these are not sequential. The challenge is placing people and creatures from different manuscripts in a haphazard fashion. Even the book extracts are not necessarily in order or even from the same novel. They all cross link mind so many do feature in more than one. Hopefully they add value to what The Amanuensis is trying to unearth. Or something like that 🤔
I guess it’s a tad difficult following as these are excerpts. But whatever I read evokes strong emotions. That’s the hallmark of good writing.
I appreciate it is Varad. I’m writing them to force myself to go back through them. Using the way I ask myself questions during writing. I can’t actually reveal too much so spoilers don’t ripple through them. It’s meant to be cryptic to some extent and written from the Scribes perspective who only knows what readers do. He’s struggling to follow it….at least that’s the general concept. If it’s creating those emotions then I’m happy it’s working even if it does seem tricky to follow. Hope that makes sense?
Amazing writing, such a powerful tragedy.
Thanks Iain, this challenge is seriously making me look hard at my manuscripts again. Most of which all grew from this particular tragedy.
Wow… that is a really traumatic thing for a child to have to go through… you intrigued me!
Her story is a larger one. It’s pretty much undisclosed here and book one has been written. Her sister appears in E soon. Tough one to write emotion wise as it’s every parents nightmare 🤕
I liked this comment, but somehow it doesn’t seem appropriate given the context 🤔
I know what you mean… but I am eager to read/find out more, so that is a good thing… 🙂
Put it another way. This half a twin piece was the very first thing I wrote. Chloe was proper annoyed with me for getting her knocked down and missing out on pizza. Her sister went off in a huge huff, so I had to turn it into a novel which our Scribe is researching. Every book since is connected to this event in one way or another. 😇
Even more intrigued!
I’m sure the Amanuensis will only make things even less clear as this challenge progresses….except there are some damn tricky letters later on 😱
Well, I look forward to seeing how you handle them!!!
You aren’t the only one 😳
😊 you’ll do it!
If I need pressure, then I can surely count on you 😂