March 27, 2014

The Time Keeper's Daughter: Chapter 1

The city’s bells were clamoring all throughout the streets and alleys. People were everywhere. Hands, feet, arms, legs, and such were (if you were in the streets) all you could see. The people were frantic. The city bells signified a battle somewhere near. From where I was sitting I could glimpse the people, hear the bells, and sense the vibrations they were causing, and feel the cobblestones shiver as if they were catching cold.
            We were just sitting there, at home awaiting Marie and Papa’s arrival. I was perched on Marie’s bed. Marie had left to find Papa only fifteen minutes before, and I was becoming worried that they would never return for the minuets dragged by like hours. It was like waking from a slumber when I realized that if they never returned Lyra, Jacob and I would be orphaned. Lyra was only 18 months old and motherless as were Jake and I for or mother died in child birth with Lyra (Papa is still in a living coma from the abruptness of it). Jake was 7 and I was nearing 14, Marie was the eldest – she was 17 and not yet married because of her limp.
            There was a crash interrupting my worries, and in stumbled Papa through the doorway. No longer was there a door to muffle the ringing bells or to keep the frenzied people out. Then I truly noticed Papa, and he was drunk on fear. I was wrought with it. Lyra was crying, for what I did not know, but I assumed the noise from the bells and people were damaging her delicate ears. Jacob was trying so very hard to be brave. “Papa! Where is Marie? Papa! Papa!” I screamed above the noise. But my questions were useless, for Papa was just as hysterical as the people outside. As I gave up Jacob came and told me that he had seen Marie from the window. I asked for details, he replied saying that Marie was calling out for Papa and following him but looked as if she got lost in the merciless crowd. Upon hearing this I ran out of what was once our door.
            I could hear Jacob calling me “Lilly, Lilly don’t go!” but I paid no heed to his plea for me. Looking back I wish I had, but now is not the time for regrets. I was running as mindlessly as the people around me hoping I could find Marie.  
            As I ran I thought about my family. My Mama was a beautiful lady, with the most perfect Jet Black hair, with eyes the same color. Papa had Chestnut Brown hair, and Emerald Green eyes. Jacob looked more like Mama than the rest of us. Lyra had Mama’s hair, and Papa’s eyes. Marie looked like Papa all the way through. I was (and am) the misfit, with my Gold-Blond hair, Ice Blue eyes, and skin so pale it could hurt your eyes if you looked at it too long.
            As I staggered back to reality, I found myself standing under the Clock Tower. I had always felt drawn to the Tower, but since Mama died I hadn’t had time to visit the grand thing. The Tower had always seemed magical, with Gargoyles encircling the clocks face, and Jewels embedded in each number.
             I stood there remembering a time when I had tried to ask Papa about the Tower, and he (for the-first-time-but-not-last time in my life) faltered with his words. In the end what I got out of that particular encounter was that I was to never visit the Tower ever again (first he said that I was to never climb the tower, {I had never thought of climbing it till then} then he changed his request to never even visit the tower) (actually he said it was forbidden) (this commandment was broken nearly instantaneously), and that I was to NEVER mention the Tower to Mama. As I was struggling to understand him I detected many hint that led to  my conclusion that he was in a rage due to my simple question about who had built the Tower (for it was pure genius the way it had been built). Because of this rage, this frenzy, I had ran toward the Tower and in what seemed like seconds, I was standing below the Tower, just as I was when the memory came to mind. Climbing the Tower was not an option the day of the memory, people would have most definitely noticed me, but it was then with the bells ringing, for the people were mindless and would pay me no heed.
            Imagine me there, coming out of this realization, standing below the very tower I needed to climb, and for a moment it was a normal day. No one was franticly running, Marie was safe at home with Papa, Jacob, and Lyra, and the bells were not ringing. In that moment of calm, peace, and clarity, I saw what I needed to do.
What I had to do.
What I wanted to do.
              I meandered around the tower looking for a way up, dodging people, and forgetting about Marie. There was no way up that I could find. There was ivy encasing the tower up until about the halfway point. I knew I could climb the ivy but that the ivy wouldn’t get me all the way to the top of the Tower.
I decided that the only thing I could do was climb up using the ivy like a ladder. I grabbed on to the first vine and it gave way in my hand. This was going to be more difficult than I anticipated… I felt around for a thicker strand of ivy and upon finding it began my climb. Placing one hand, one foot above the first I climbed up. I finally reached the top of the ivy. Unfortunately, I still saw no way into the tower. As I climbed down, suddenly I slipped, lost my grip or the vine snapping. I fell, I screamed, and once again time slowed. As I fell, I spotted a less dense portion of the ivy. In this timeless time I snatched at portions of the ivy until a strand bailed to break away. Grasping this life-ivy tightly, I regained my bearings and time returned to its normal, quick pace.

            I made my way to the less-dense portion of ivy that I had spotted while I fell. As I prodded at this abnormality, my hand passes through the wall! I climbed lower so I could place my head through the opening. I peered in and saw the winding staircase that can be found in any clock tower. I lurched forward, tumbling into the tower’s interior.