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   Chapter 1 In the beginning

Sanctum, his salvation By Harmonicquill Characters: 9554

Updated: 2019-05-25 17:59


After his curse...

Lucas looked at the image in the crystaline waters. It was a horse he saw in place of his reflection. He wanted to shed tears but there was none. It seemed his new body could not shed tears instead his newly acquired wings shook like his emotions. He screamed but all he could hear was bleating. He had to shut up. Deep in thought, he tried to figure out what just happened to him. He had the face of a horse and wings not to speak of the odd purple fur. The only word that kept echoing in his dumb skull was the words the woman said to him after she kissed him, " Give the curse to another, you find deserving."

What had he done to deserve this? Sure, he was selfish. No! He was an egocentric fool. He believed he was better than anyone and this was the reward. He wanted everything before but now, he had lost everything. He couldn't even see his family, the ones he had so despised.

This was definitely his life now.

Years after...

Darkness slowly enveloped the universe and it began to drizzle.

Isabelle watched raindrops platter against her carriage window forming beautiful patterns as it slid down. Her mother kept on ranting on how she should act when she met Frederick. He was only a Noble for all she knew. Her family was on the brink of bankruptcy and the only way they could stop sinking was to marry a wealthy family. This was where Frederick fit the picture. What he lacked in mannerism and a handsome face was replaced by his bags of gold.

"Are you listening?" Her mother demanded, venom in her words.

She was not. Her mind was preoccupied with how she was being sold out for money.

Her mother's countenance changed to a pleasant one. She was surely about to give one of her motherly advice.

"You don't have to love him Isabelle. Your father just needs to strike a deal with him and to do this, you have to marry him."

Isabelle rolled her eyes. She highly doubted that the deal would save her family from bankruptcy. Her father was a heavy gambler. He was 70% of the reason she was getting engaged to a boy she barely knew.

The horses were stopped through a succession of inhumane whippings, They were there. Isabelle could see Frederick's mansion from the dew covered windows. The carriage doors opened and immediately Isabelle got out, cold winds hit her. She had forgotten how Novembers were very cold in Astoria. She still remembered playing in the rain with her best friend, Lucia before they both moved to Ravenswood. Lucia had become a professional tailor and was very happy to have a blacksmith for a husband. Compared to Lucia, Isabelle knew her life sucked.

Sir Frederick got out of his mansion with a horde of servants. Isabelle got a good look at him as he approached them. He was bald despite being twenty two. He was fairly huge and Isabelle had to painfully admit that his body was amazing. He? had beef everywhere which he showed off by exposing half of his chest. His dressing was appropriate and his shoes on point, always reminding her he was wealthy.

" Hello Mrs Blackwell." He addressed Isabelle's mother who reached out her arm for a kiss to be planted on them.

"You too Isabelle."

With her mother's probing, Isabelle bowed and sent him a plastic smile.

All curtsey's observed. They moved into his house. Amazing could not daescribe it, the floors were covered in enamel and ivory. His parlour was the size of her whole house. Looking up, she could see different Chambers which if she took the time was twenty in number. What did he plan to do with all those rooms? Isabelle was taken to her Chambers by a maid who refused to speak to her. Her room was spacious enough for her to call her new home. The bed was a masterpiece. It was huge enough for a sleepover making Isabelle regret she had not been the most friendly girl. It would have been nice to show this off. The maid quietly left her bags in the wardrobe and left her to herself. Isabelle settled in to make herself at home. She could hear Frederick and her mom discussing about politics. It was definitely not a conversation for her to join in. She would use the opportunity to visit the river for a bath. Isabelle collapsed on the bed and stared at the white cemented ceiling. It had drawings of several mythical creatures. The one that fascinated her was the drawing of the Pegasus. Her thoughts wandered to an ordeal she faced as a child.

Three years ago...

Isabelle sat at the river bed putting her legs in the river to feel the water running through her legs and inhaling the smell of grass and flowers when She suddenly heard a noise. It started as a low growl then turned into a frightening roar.

Looking into the river, she could see the unmistakable reflection of orange and black fur. It wa

s a tiger. Isabelle was frozen in place. She dared not move from fear of being eaten alive. The water that she once enjoyed was becoming trouble for her as she felt the urge to remove her feets from them as the soothing effect had turned chilly. The animal watched for a few minutes before retreating into the forest and out of sight. Isabelle quickly got her feets out of the water and ran for her life. Her mistake. The beast raced out of the shadows with speed unmatched. In split seconds, it pounced on Isabelle and bit into her thighs. She screamed for help as unimaginable pain coursed through her.

In a flash, another animal emerged from the woods and lunged for the tiger. The tiger was sent tumbling and stopped only when it hit a tree. Isabelle turned to see her saviour. It was a purple horse with wings. She had to be hallucinating. The horse nuzzled her hands. She wasn't hallucinating, it was real. The last thing she saw before she fell unconscious was her flying.

***

No one knew how Isabelle survived the tiger's attack. She was found near Lucia's home. Her claims of seeing a Pegasus were dismissed as post trauma. It was one of the reasons her family had left Astoria.

A whiff reminded Isabelle how she desperately needed to shower and off she went.

Going down the elaborate stairs, Isabelle quietly avoided her suitor and mother. She highly suspected they would allow her to go alone. She successfully sneaked out without notice and sprinted to the river.

***

Lucas landed gracefully near Astoria's river. His shift was about to begin and he had to prepare. The moon came fully into view and Lucas could already feel his wings retract into his body. He let out a pained whimper as this happened. His bones ached painfully as he watched his human arms return. After a series of painful and mentally agonizing shifting, Lucas felt human. Years with the curse, he understood that the curse only had effect in the day. At night, he regained his human form and could do as he so pleased. He dug into the sand to retrieve clothes that he had stolen from unsuspecting smugglers who swung by the forest to escape the security. Covering his nakedness, Lucas went to town. He was starved. Despite being an animal for greater parts of the day, he had refused to turn himself to a lowly animal. Astoria was the same as all night. The street was filled with beggers, robbers and ne'er-do-wells. The ale House was always the only part of Astoria that was awake at night. With his last gold coins, he walked in for a drink.

Ladies swarmed him like mosquitoes. From their look, he could tell they desired him. He silently wished he could relay his curse to them but no! The witch who cursed him and explained to him the second time he visited and gruesomely killed her was that only the woman that had stolen his heart could be given the curse. She apparently believed he was in love. That was a year ago though. Now, he had gotten used to his daily routine and he apparently did not care less. The grandfather clock in the alehouse struck twelve and Lucas predicted he had minutes before he was going to shift. He hurriedly pushed the prostitutes away and paid the bartender. Rushing out, he ran to the river. He would have gone to a particular tree to bury his clothes lest he ripped them off while shifting but he stopped in his tracks. There was woman bathing in the river. She was start naked and with help from the moonlight, he had a view. She was redhead and had a very petite face. She apparently had no idea, she was being watched but she was, by him. The tinkling sensation Lucas always had before a shift had began and he could already see part of his wings tear out of his back. He bit his lips to cope with the pain. The woman suddenly stopped bathing. She turned around suspecting an uncanny presence watching her.

"Is anybody there?" She? demanded, cross-examining her surronding.

No one could see him like this! Lucas made an attempt to leave before the woman got too suspicious. The second wing burst out, flapping clumsily on a shrine and making what he tried to avoid, Noise.

The woman got out panicking and began to get dressed. By then, Lucas had halfly transformed. The woman was getting closer, he could smell her perfume. She had almost reached Lucas when he fully shifted. In his Pegasus form, Lucas fanned his wings and charged forward slowly achieving flight, he could see the woman now. She looked very farmiliar but this was hardly the time for sane reasoning. Midair, he held out his forelegs and hindlegs before expertly backwinging to achieve flight. He narrowly missed hitting the woman? as he took to the skies.

He picked something from what the lady said, "Pegasus."

And very soon, he was gone.

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