The Saturation of Souls
Chapter 1: The Invitation
Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. Shades as brilliant and bold as violet and plum mingled with precious pastels of lilac and lavender, spread thin across the heavens like gossamer silk. Veins of eggplant swirled in the shadows, while contrasting splashes of orchid beamed in the luminescent eye of the silvery moon.
Beneath the violet ballet, the willow’s weeping branches swayed above the manicured carpet of crimson grass, her pink hues mirroring the maiden sky. Twinkling lights blinked in and out between her feathery strands, illuminating her twisted trunk as will-o-the-wisps cavorted within her sheltered embrace.
Arthur studied them in silence. From the vantage of his park bench, he marveled at the cool palettes of their hazy forms in contrast to the warmer tones of the surrounding foliage. Jade and emerald mingling with glowing cobalt and cerulean, tinges of pale silver illuminating the tint of each ghostly form. Below them, hints of ruby and rose flickered in the waving sea of grass, blinking blush and coral in the moonlight. Such a vast array of contrasting colors would have left him breathless on any occasion, aching to paint such a vibrant scene.
But not tonight.
This night, Arthur’s thoughts lingered on the crumbled piece of paper clutched tightly in his left hand. His gaze flicked down to the wrinkled parchment as though summoned by remembrance of the delicate script adorning its vellum skin.
Alistair Park. Midnight. I require your unique expertise for a private discourse in a matter most delicate.
At first, Arthur gave the note little credit. A private discourse at midnight? Requiring his expertise? The audacity of the conspicuous prank stoked an old ire deep down in the recesses of a past better left forgotten. Like a child on the playground with his pants round his ankles, accusatory fingers maliciously thrust in his direction amidst the cackling of schoolyard bullies.
As if in response to his memory, the wisps flittering beneath the willow's locks began to giggle, a gentle tinkling like the patter of summer rain. Arthur forced a smile and neatly folded his hands upon his lap. He checked his pocket watch for the second time in less than three minutes, an anxious habit for a man who valued time more than money. Five after midnight. Surely, they wouldn't keep him waiting too much longer?
Once more, he glanced down to the crumbled note in his grasp, then carefully smoothed it open upon his thigh. He read it again, then a second time and a third, recalling the importance of threes when discerning truth. Once is cursory, twice is partial, but thrice is clarity.
However, Arthur gleaned no further understanding of his anonymous summoner's intent. It only served to fuel his paranoia and suspicion. What delicate matter would require the assistance of an expert in chromatics? The discernment between amethyst and orchid hardly called for discretion, let alone a midnight discourse in the park. Arthur snorted at the thought, disturbing the wisps' dance as they winked out into the safety of shadow. He cringed, offering a silent apology, then checked his watch once more.
Time ticked onward, the violet haze giving way to deeper saturations of grape and mauve as the moon's glow waned behind the thickening veil. Arthur blew out his cheeks and pulled his pea coat tighter around his chest, sinking further into the wooden bench as though doing so might squeeze an ounce of comfort from the splintering planks. A creeping numbness spread across his backside, down his thighs. He shifted again, checked the time, and heaved a sigh.
How much longer must I endure this? An odd thought. He was not bound to the bench; he could leave whenever he pleased. Yet Arthur found himself glued to his seat by intrigue alone. He'd come this far, waited this long, though in reality his mysterious host was only thirty minutes late. I'll give him 10 more minutes. Then I'm leaving.
As if in response, the tell-tale clack in hooves on stone penetrated the calm, growing louder in approach. Arthur straightened his back and smoothed his trousers, simultaneously wiping the chilled sweat from his palms. He turned to the fawn as he passed, donning as pleasant a smile as an impatient man can muster, and waited politely. The fawn smiled back, then tipped his hat and continued walking down the path, his cane synchronizing with the clack of his hooves.
Arthur frowned at fawn's back, both relieved and perturbed by the misjudgment of his host. With a sigh, he dug out his pocket watch and clicked open the latch. His gaze darted fleetingly towards the note once more, kindling a foul sense of indignation and shame.
"An utter waste of time." Arthur shoved the watch and the crumbled note back in his pocket.
With a sigh, he began to heave his aching backside from the bench's embrace when the touch of cold metal pressed hard against the nape of his neck froze him in place. Arthur's heart seized at the tell-tale click of the revolver's hammer, his body turning rigid against the hardness of the bench's back. He fought the urge to raise his hands, keeping them spread out upon his thighs instead, and locked his gaze forward where the wisps resumed their dance beneath the violet sky.
"Mr. Brath," a low, gravelly voice resounded from behind him, pressing the muzzle firm against Arthur's flesh, "we have much to discuss, you and I."
About the Creator
Wrangler of chaos. Creator of more. Writing whatever my heart desires, from fantasy to poetry and more!
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Oh my goodness! Oh my gosh. Kelly, this is so beautiful. I read every word, and I think I will have to read it all over again. Please tell me that there will be more of Arthur Brath's story?
Kelly, your writing is absolutely stunning. The way you paint such a vivid picture with your words is truly breathtaking. The imagery you use is so unique and creative, and the way you weave it into the story is masterful. I felt as though I was right there in the park with Arthur, feeling the chill of the night air and the discomfort of the wooden bench. Your ability to build tension and suspense is truly impressive. From the very beginning, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next. You kept me guessing until the very end, and the reveal was truly shocking. Overall, your writing is emotional, engaging, and utterly captivating. I am in awe of your talent and I can't wait to read more from you. Keep up the amazing work! If you feel like looking at my take on this challenge, I would be glad to have your opinion: https://vocal.media/fiction/the-purple-tempest
This story really hit home for me. It's amazing how we can feel so drained and saturated with life sometimes.
One word describes this story Incredible
This was a great read. Great descriptions and an evocative imagery! Great job!
Your descriptive imagery is top notch.
Leaves me definitely curious for more - and I love your use of colors - the imagery ... :)
Compelling, with beautiful imagery and an interesting inner monologue of the protagonist. Very nicely written.
From the sky, to the grass, to the character and his traits, you painted this first chapter so intentionally and with a consistent style that made the prompt really come to life. The shattering of this imagery came at the end, and it was subtle but demanding. This was really enjoyable! Thanks so much for sharing!
Such a glorious palette of colour and intrigue. I love how the warmth and beauty of your world was shattered by "...the touch of cold metal..." An excellent juxtaposition. Well done and congratulations on your Top Story! ❤'d and subscribed 😄
Loved the word choice all throughout. One of my favorite images was "the wisps flittering beneath the willow's locks began to giggle". Totally tickled my heart and imagination. Congratulations on Top Story!
I was hooked against my will. I waded through the description at the beginning, not sure why I cared. But the way you introduced the character was masterful. If this were really the first chapter, I would definitely be reading chapter 2. Excellent.
Very well done 😌I liked it! Keep it up
Such a tease! Well done, truly magical story - well written and interesting! Congratulations on Top Story!
There! See? This is how it’s done! I love this! Congratulations 😁 Chapter 2 coming soon??
Wow that was gorgeous and I did not see such a dark turn coming at the end! Congratulations! Wonderful story!
Such beautiful, descriptive language. Very well done. Congrats on the Top Story.
What a wonderful story, had me hanging on to the very end!! The descriptions were incredible.
Wow, you had such gorgeous language in this. I loved the contrast of the beauty to the character of Arthur being annoyed at being kept waiting. Loved the intrigue at the end. I would have happily kept reading :) Congratulations on Top Story!!
How poetically written. It reads like an extended poem. I love your mention of a rainbow of colors. Beautiful.
I loved how you used different shades of purple in your story! This was such a fantastic first chapter. Awesome twist and cliffhanger! I loved it so much!