I wrote this novella in about one and a half weeks after freaking out over how slow I was going and also wondering if I should even continue. I’m glad I did continue and push through it, even though it didn’t come out quite the way I was imagining it would, but hey, it’s a first draft, they’re allowed to be terrible.
So with that I am officially finished with Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015, having gotten 337 words above my word goal. I’ll share an excerpt from the first chapter here, but as a warning it’s unedited and it’s in a style that I’m not used to writing, so I’m not sure how good it is. This style is far more detailed than I’m normally used to doing, and not a real lot really happens, but I hope it can keep your interest anyway.
So without further ado, here it is.
I woke up in this strange place, and I think that was when I was born. I had never seen it before, but I had no memory of being anywhere else before that either. All I knew was my name: Kalina. No, it’s as if I had been alive for a long time, knew everything a normal adult should; I am not a child being born into the world for the first time.
The first thing I decided to do was explore the world I found myself in. The sky was dark like the night, but it was filled with bright stars and swirling galaxies; they looked close enough to be able to touch them. I didn’t want to look away from the sky for a long time and I wished more than anything that I could fly through the stars.
I finally tore my gaze from the sky to look at the terrain around me. A grassy meadow with wild flowers spread through it stretched out across my vision. The flowers swayed in a gentle breeze that I could not feel on my skin.
As beautiful as the meadow was, I decided to leave and see what else I could find; surely this world could not be only this, after all. Stretching my legs, I stepped through the grass which reached up and tickled my bare ankles. It felt so soft and inviting, like a comfortable bed and a warm blanket inviting me to sleep in it.
I walked on for some time, but it didn’t seem like I was getting any place new. Maybe this world was nothing but this meadow, I started to think to myself, but that thought was ridiculous. There had to be more to it than this. There just had to be.
What would you like to see? a little voice in my head seemed to ask. I stopped and thought for a moment, before answering it that I wished for a tall hill to be able to reach up to the stars. When I turned my head, there was what I had wished for. I know it hadn’t been there before that. What exactly was this world, anyway?
All other thoughts were chased away in that moment, though. I climbed up the tall, grassy hill, up to the top where it overlooked the entire meadow. A fairy ring of wild flowers grew there, and I settled myself down within it to gaze up at the sky.
The stars truly did look close enough to be able to touch. I stretched out my arm, my pale skin seeming to glow in the starlight that shown down upon me. Yes, I thought, this was what I wanted more than anything else: only the stars. As long as I could stay basking in their glow, I would be happy.
After a moment of gazing, I stood up and stretched out the wings on my back, the black feathers ruffling slightly as I prepared them to fly. Then I leapt off the edge of the hill and glided across the meadow. Air rushed past me, making the skirt of my dress flap lightly around my knees. My wings stroked the air, gaining me more altitude, and I soared across the sky. A feeling of euphoria swelled inside of me. Yes, I would be happy here, I just knew I would be.
I glided over the meadow and at last found an end to it. A clump of trees appeared at the edge of the meadow, which turned out to be a vast forest. I flew over it for a time, occasionally diving down to fly through the forest, but then flying above the trees again, as they obscured my view of the stars.
I later found the end of the forest; it opened up into a place that was unlike anything I had ever seen. The ground looked like a mirror reflecting the sky, and my heart beat faster with the indescribable beauty. I landed carefully upon the ground, and was surprised to find the mirror surface felt like soft sand beneath my feet.
I walked for a time across the sand mirror, gazing down at the stars reflected from above. Then I started to run, racing over the mirror, not so much as a footprint left behind. It was an endless expanse of the beauty I so adored, both above and below me. Everything in this world is perfect.
I later found an orchard of trees with different sorts of fruits on them. I picked one of these fruits and took a bite out of it. Sweet juice gushed into my mouth, and I devoured the rest of it, making sure to savor every last bite.
There was nothing in this world that could make me unhappy, I thought for a time. I laid upon the soft grass and closed my eyes, the starlight as warm as a beam of sunshine. I rested there for a time and awoke feeling renewed, still with that same sense of wonder I had when I first woke up.
As beautiful and wonderful as this world was, though, I did find myself wanting for something eventually. For all the plant life and beauty this world held for me, I never saw any animals, or any other people. It was lonely. I was lonely.
My paradise turned into a prison as I ached for someone else to be there with me. Isn’t anyone out there? Please… I don’t want to be alone.