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Prologue: Young Adult Fantasy Novel

In the world where monsters now run free, one girl chose to become one to save the man she loves.

By Ania WPublished 6 years ago 5 min read

Constantine Grigorov thought that the merciless wind would freeze him to death. If he wasn’t dead already.

Technically dead. His white, waxy skin hadn’t felt an icy kiss of cold for centuries or a warmth of flickering fire, never to blush under a woman’s eyes or turn scarlet with a sip of fine wine. But his mind—oh, his mind was very much alive. He watched the woman standing in front of the window with a predatory caution, aware of every trifling detail of her slender silhouette. A strain of dark brown hair clung to her grey woolen coat, her pupils as wide as an infinite black hole. He looked longingly as her long, slim fingers twitched with a nervous anxiety. She didn’t move, though, her legs rooted in the damp floor were covered with rotten leaves.

Nearby he heard a subtle fluttering, the sound of butterfly wings as his head flung instinctively to the left. An ash-grey mouse disappeared into a small crack in the wall, reminding him that this wasn’t a place for butterflies nor was he the person to be fond of such beautiful, fragile creatures.

“So she’s coming back,” the woman’s words sounded as icy as the cold, wind outside, forcing its way through the broken windows in the deserted castle. Somewhere in his mind, Constantine had the names of those who once lived here, but it has been abandoned for so long now, wood dampening and rotting, bricks crumbling and he couldn’t for the little life left in him remember. They stood in the decomposing room stripped of anything that could indicate what it once was, apart from a few broken chairs and a big sofa, grey from dust and mould. A fireplace was veiled with cobwebs, the floor simply a pile of broken mosaic, covered with dirt, leaves and mud. On the left, the wide stairs were covered in an old rug, winding up to the memories of another time long past, like a dark snake. An old chandelier above their heads was rocking slowly back and forth with a rhythmic, creaking sound. The air here smelled of salt and Constantine often found himself travelling to this place—regardless if she was in the castle or not. It had been their meeting place from the day she put the copper crown on her head. As conservative as Constantine was, and as hard as he believed that all the races should keep themselves to themselves, he agreed to meet her that very day.

And they kept meeting in the ruined castle ever since. A witch. And a vampire. It was a High Crime for two races to spend time together without witnesses present, but they formed half of the Greatest Council, the highest power in the land of Maghorian. They were the law, so who was there to challenge their actions? It was a tiring, bitter thought, a thought that his son found pleasure in repeating out loud to tease his father. To test if he would ever break his own laws, but he preferred not to think about it. Especially not when he was with her.

“And are you scared? Angry? Worried?” Constantine Grigorov, the Emperor of Vampires, asked wearily. Eris was facing the window, transfixed on the sea waves repeatedly crashing themselves against the rocks. She thought of herself as a rock, but Constantine saw her more as a wave: she was relentless, yet not as unbreakable as she wished the outside world to see. He seldom suspected that this is the reason why he kept breaking one of Maghorian’s most sacred rules and kept coming back to the Salt Castle.

To keep her from crashing. To keep her whole.

“Is there really no other way to keep her in the Convent?” Eris asked, though in her lips it sounded more like a command than a question. The wind tried to steal her every word, but Constantine with his heightened hearing just about caught every syllable.

“No. The Sisters said she changed and she won’t cause you any problems.”

“Changed! Ha! She is the problem.” Eris said spitefully. “And Sisters know precisely nothing, they are just a bunch of…”

“Eris,” he warned and she made a hissing sound as she let out some air. “She is your daughter.”

“She is a mistake.” Eris pushed her head higher, yet refused to look at him. “And now everything I worked so hard for, will all fall down.” Constantine pursed his lips so tight the last splash of pink disappeared.

“She is not a threat to you. Perhaps you should trust her a bit more.” He carefully removed all the irony from his voice. Irony was not never his style; he preferred to startle people with his cool stoicism.

“Trust her?” Eris mocked him. The muscles of her creamy neck tensed.

“I trusted you. I still do. I can assure you, Soleil will not cause you any trouble. Have you ever thought that maybe she just needs some time to grow up?” And she probably needs some love too, he added in his mind, though without malice. He was a vampire, after all, so love was nothing but a foreign concept to him.

He had seen Soleil Hexelian, the Second Princess of Witches only twice: once when she was barely a toddler and the second time, when she stormed into the Great Council’s meeting. Furious. And naked.

If she wanted to get her mother’s attention, she achieved precisely the opposite. The next day the Second Princess was packed and shipped to the Convent of Rain and Bloom—one could see it as her mother’s desperate attempt to change her daughter’s defiant behaviour, but Constantine knew it was merely a good excuse for Eris to get rid of Soleil from Autumn House.

“She cannot know. She cannot ever know.” Eris said, lowering her voice so it almost sounded masculine. The trembling note didn’t miss Constantine’s attention.

“She will not.”

“How could you be so sure now?” Her words were full of sarcasm.

I am a vampire, made of steel and dried up bones, untouchable and ruthless and she is better at this than I am, he thought, as he often kept thinking.

“Constantine,” his name sounded so softly in her lips it almost made Constantine sigh. He watched as Eris finally turned around to face him. There was no softness in her eyes.

“Something bad is going to happen.”


About the Creator

Ania W

Hi, I'm Ania: I love reading, bath bombs, wine and fudge.

Currently in the process of getting my new novel published.

See what I am up to on: www.instagram.com/anyawie

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