This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The leaves rustle as the wind blows through them. Some detach and flutter to the ground, browns, reds, and oranges surrounding me wherever I go as fall shows its colors. The sky ahead is gloomy, clouds everywhere. Not a clear patch of sky to be seen. The sun’s healing light forgotten.
I keep my eyes focused on the path before me. Tremors plague my body, goosebumps covering my flesh, but not from the chilly air that claims this month and the ones to follow.
A foot comes out of nowhere and, before I can properly react, I’m already stumbling towards the uneven terrain below me. My feet leave the ground and my arms come up in a last minute attempt to keep myself from flying headfirst into the ground.
My landing is still rough and painful, tiny pebbles digging into the palms of my hands and my knees skidding over the surface of the rough path I’d been walking along. Behind me are snickers, something I’ve become well-acquainted with over the years. Something I had forgotten for all of two years. Something that demands not to be forgotten.
Pushing myself up on my elbows, I wince in pain as my already bruised skin darkens further from the pressure I apply unwillingly to it. Next, I try to push myself up further and then from there maybe stand up.
I don’t get the chance. A foot slams down on my back, forcing the air from my lungs and making my already feeble arms to collapse underneath me. My face returns back to the earth harshly, new scratches opening and starting to bleed on my exposed skin.
I suck in large lungfuls of breath as I attempt to regain it, still shaken from my sudden landing. Above me, I see the hulking figures of my fellow peers. They look down at me, their faces partly in shadow, grinning wickedly. They enjoy my misery. After all, to them, I’m below them. Something sub-human.
I avert my eyes quickly. Tears start to well up in the corners and I quickly try to blink them away, refusing to cry in front of these horrid people. It’s only been a few days since they died. Do they not spare me anytime for grief?
My heart clenches at the thought, my tears instantly gone, replaced instead by a burning fury.
“What’re you gonna do, devil child?” someone taunts, and I suppose it is the one whose foot is on my back as the pressure there increases. I wheeze as my chest is unable to pull more oxygen into my lungs, not enough room being had to expand and decompress my lungs.
More fury burns through my veins and my fingers twitch. These people really think they are above me. Yet they haven’t gone through what my friends failed to.
I’ll show them. I’ll show them all.
My hands move faster than my thoughts do, my hands coming to rest under my shoulders and then pressing down onto the ground as hard as I can, pushing my body up and getting rid of the foot on my back. I quickly hop onto my feet, stumbling back a few steps as my balance reorients itself and my head spins from my sudden decision to stand.
Around me, my torturers are silent, not having seen me fight back before. This silence is, unfortunately, only momentary. Quickly enough, they recover and those same smiles that I’m so sick of seeing return.
“Oh, so the Devil’s Child thinks she can resist us, does she?” More laughter.
My eyes narrow as I stand confidently. I have come too far to surrender now. My friends gave me strength in the time they were here. I will not disgrace them now by being weak.
“I will enter the Gate tonight, you pathetic bunch of cowards. Then what? Will you still call me a child of the Devil because I have done something all of you are too afraid to?” I make eye contact with each and every one of them, staring into their very souls.
They remain motionless as I brush through them, not caring if I bump shoulders with someone or not. They don’t try to stop me, stunned again at my words. Their rage has not yet set in. I should flee while I still can.
Rounding a corner and exiting the park, I make sure I’m out of sight before I take off running. I really don’t want them to catch up to me. Even though I spoke so confidently, so fiercely, back there, that was all false bravado. All bark, no bite.
Slinking down a narrow alleyway, the reality of what I’ve just done hits me like a train and I slide down against the wall. My legs suddenly weak, the ground rises to meet me quickly. I hardly notice, my hands grabbing big bunches of my hair as I nervously pull on them, more tears starting to well up in my eyes.
What have I done?
What have I...
A salty liquid makes its way down my face, only one drop at first. Then another follows the first. And another. And another, until there’s an endless stream of them. I try to keep my hyperventilating gasps at a minimum, not wanting to alert any passerby to my presence, as I break down.
The wind still blows through this unforgiving town, pulling with it an article right into my little alleyway, as cliche as it might be. With strained eyes that still pour out tears, I look at the paper. My eyes flit over the top of it and my heart sinks even further, my mind falling even deeper into hysteria.
The article read: Friday, October 13: NEW DISCOVERY!: Allegedly 4 Teens Died Beyond the Gate. Mary is the Winner of this Round’s Bet!
Another sob rips through my body as my stomach churns at the words. This world I live in is so twisted. Why do they think this is some sort of entertainment? Do they think that death is funny? Do they think it’s okay to mock someone else’s passing and grief just because they’re the outcasts?
I pull my knees to my chest and rock myself back and forth. My mind is blank as my breathing continues to be erratic, not enough oxygen getting to my head to form a rational thought.
There I sit, alone in an alley, grieving my inevitable death.
And here I stand, before the Gate, staring death in the eye.
I must commit myself to this. I can’t turn back. The curse, the spell, whatever you want to call it, has established a firm hold over my body. I am here and either I will go through those large, ominous, aged, and wooden doors or I will meet an undesirable end.
Here I stand with the knowledge that I will not be walking back out of those doors alive, but not without a companion.
I am not alone, tonight. There is one other that stands beside me, dressed in similar attire as I. White. Pristine. A suit. I wear a flowing, fancy, white dress and matching lace shoes.
Mother pulled and pricked my head, roping my hair into an intricate braid. She seemed almost happy to do it, right after she forced me into this ridiculous outfit.
The boy next to me doesn’t say a word as we stand, side by side, staring at the doors before us. As we stand, looking at the Gate to Hell.
My head turns and I look at the one who will be traversing whatever horrors we may face down there with me. His head turns to look at me in turn. We take each other in, still not saying a word. The square is silent, even though dozens of people have crowded into it, wanting to see the spectacle that is our deaths. Or, more accurately, my death.
He is only slightly taller than I. His eyes are blue, but startlingly so. They almost glow in the moonlight, looking like what I imagine ice would when illuminated. They’re mesmerizing. His hair is blonde and his features are moreover average.
To me, he is the most beautiful boy in the world. And that is because he isn’t looking at me with what everyone else does when they lay eyes on me. There is no disgust or hatred lurking in those icy depths of his eyes.
There’s just sadness.
I break the spell, turning my own muted green eyes back to the Gate tonight. Around me, the people still stare, their mouths sealed shut. I can feel the weight of their eyes, heavy on my back, making chills run down my spine. I’ve lived with these stares for the majority of my life. This is the last time I will suffer under them.
A hand encloses mine within it. I know whose it is. It is the beautiful boy’s next to me. My heart warms a little at this small gesture. He probably doesn’t know how much this means to me, this little show of support.
My own eyes fill with sadness, just like the beautiful boy’s eyes, and rightly so. I do not think we will survive.
For, tonight, we dance with the devil.
maewilde25: I liked this, though it dragged on for over 200pages and heaven knows I did not expect the plot twist in the middle. David being Cristiãn. I was wondering when he would show up and didn't know he was there all along. it looks like there should be a sequel, please let there be a sequel. I know the...
Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...
Jacklyn Reynolds: As a mother of an Autistic child, I know how hard it can be. I love how beautiful you made everything. That's all I can say. I need to grab a tissue.
ryder: This is an excellent read. From beginning to end the author showed his creative and imaginative writing skills. Twists and turns, surprises, humor, and sorrow: This book has it all. I strongly recommend this book, and I am already recommending it to my friends.
Dina Husseini: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...
dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...
Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...
Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.
borkarprasad: Story was overall a good experience. I liked that the truth unraveled slowly and kept me in edge every time I changed the chapter. I would love to read more volumes to this legacy and be glad to read it from a published book. Great work!!!!!!!!!
Althea Kerr: This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness com...
Emperor2000: I joined Inkitt and downloaded this book following a friend who has been on here sometime recommending it. After they spoke about it a bit, I thought why not give it a go. Initially I only expected to read a few chapters, as I have little time to spend reading (not as much as I like). However I c...
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...
Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...