WIP: A Fire: Born and Bred (Opening)

This is the entire first chapter of the partially edited novel: A Fire Born and Bred.  It was my first novel length work I finished, but there is a lot of work to go.  Here it is for your reading pleasure. 

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [Dragon Myth]


The thin lanky fellow with deep red hair and stark blue eyes nods to the butcher.  The butcher was a kind soul with a rather strong muscular body and short cropped dark hair, his faced was smudged with blood and his apron had a mix of browns and reds from old and new meat.  “Good day to you, David.  I will hope your father comes next time for the food though.  I wish to speak with him.”

David, the weak young man, nods.  “I will persuade him the best I can.”  Giving a quick bow to the butcher he takes a wide step away from the shop.  He was neither tall nor short, and many of the females could kiss him without problem.  He may have had every female in town at his beck and call, if his father and mother would have approved.  He keeps his true self somewhat hidden behind the scrawny gorgeous appearance.  Only his brother knows his real hidden potential.  He will be headed to the college in another year.  He already passed the tests, but just needs to make a few extra gold pieces.  Room and board is very expensive even with the grant offered from the highest test scores in the nation.  He grins to a shorter female with dark features who comes upon him.  “Yium, how nice to see you.”

Yium the small maiden pulls herself up and close blushing slightly, but obviously liking the attention.  “You are too kind.  I am only here as per instructions of my father.  He told me to watch out very carefully.  He wants a purebred as my husband though.”  She flips her hair back and smiles lightly trying to catch David’s eye.  Her dress shows off her noble parentage and good looks.  Many of the men wanted her, but she listens well to her father.  “You should speak with him though.  I am sure he would see you as pure enough.”

“Six generations since the mistake now and still we wish not to speak on it.”  David sighs, but kisses the maiden’s hand.  “You deserve better than I.”

The maiden nearly swoons, but a call is heard.  “David!”  The voice seemed terrified and in desperate need of David.  The man in farm clothes smelling like he was in the middle of work when the need arose.  “David.”  He huffs as he reaches the pair near the butcher’s shop.

“Relax, Adam.  You speak so forcefully.  Such a display of manners.  Are we not teaching you well enough?”  David steps in front of Yium blocking her and hoping she returns to a safe place.  “Now relax, greet me properly and speak calmly.”

Adam takes a deep breathe, pulling himself up straight.  “Hello, David.  Good afternoon, Lady Yium.  It is a pleasant day today, is it not?”

David nods.  “Miss Yium, would you please let us speak alone.  Run along to your father, mayhap I will see him later.”  He smiles as Yium walks off happy to leave the farmhand’s stench.  “Yes, a very nice day indeed.”  David returns to Adam.  “We should start returning home.  I do have the meat my father ordered.”  He begins walking with Adam a little flustered at his side.  They were showing no signs of affection as neither one wanted more than friendship.  Adam was actually taken by a common woman who wishes he knew more writing so they may trade in the big city.

“There is a problem, sir.”  Adam begins calmly trying to stay calm, but his reaction overcame his training.

“Problem?”  David gives a strange glance at Adam before smelling what must be toxins due to a fire at some distance.  “Smells like a house is on fire.”

“The entire house is on fire.  Your brother lost control again!”  Adam ends shouting barely keeping stride with David.  David curses softly before breaking his normal act and bolting toward his home.  He just hopes no one is hurt this time.  Adam still worn from the running, the fear and the forced actions by David, could not keep up with the sprinter.

David sighs as his mother greets him within distance of the house.  He could see his older brother crying in the grass.  His brother, Frelock, is the most powerful mage in all the land except he does not know that yet.

“David.  I am glad you came so quickly.  Please talk with your brother.  He refuses to talk with me.”  Mother is a sweet woman weaken by bearing two children, dealing with their problems throughout the years, and keeping their father in line.  She has grown passive lately and now only tears show much more the words escaping her lips.

David nods to the small woman and goes to sit beside his brother.  His garb consisted of his normal robe of the Order and a band placing a symbol in the middle of his forehead.  He always wore the gem headband to help control his outbreaks.  It has failed more than just this once.  “Frelock?”

“David!”  Frelock pulls his hands up to his head, running his fingers through his short burnt hair.  All of it went with his hands showing his newest issue was dealing with fire itself not something that can cause fire.  “It went wrong.  Master Huoline is inside still.  I feel him.  I doubt he can hold the fire longer and I know little I can do.”

“Where is Father?”

“Dead.”  Frelock begins the tears anew unable to get up or do anything other than take his hair and the headband and tossing them on the grass.


“I killed him.  He was in the room with the blast.  I was concentrating so hard on the spell and he spoke up to me and I lost it… Again…”

“Father knows not to bother you when you are trying so hard.”  David sighs wishing the gods had not given the powers they gave his brother.  The mixed blood does not show in him.  He has neither power nor the red stained eyes of his father’s side.

The mage crawls over closer to David grabbing him by the ankles.  “I can give you fire protection if you go and save Master and Father.  Maybe we can still bring him back.  We did the last time.”  He chants a few light words and marks two symbols with his nail in David’s flesh.  The pain from the claws failed in their act and no fire protection came through.  “Please.  You may be protected with the blood anyway.  Try?”

The beautiful young man nearly ready for college knew then he would never see the halls of his beloved school.  Now they must douse the flames and find the bodies.  “Get to work bringing up a rain storm.  I care not if I die inside this time.  I must at least try.  Hurry.”  He runs to the door ducking inside before his mother’s warning told him no.  Frelock catches her before she runs into the house herself.  As she falls to the grass crying new tears Frelock pulls himself up and begins his call to the storm not far away.

David feels the heat against his skin.  He has been burnt before from these flames, but he still has some resistance against his brother’s magic, not much, but enough to allow him to walk near the flames without dying from one touch.  He finds the small room where the two people lay close together only to keep from the flame’s touch.  The orb held strong, but the Master could not both carry the man and keep the orb going.  David nods and enters the orb of safety, picking up his father carefully and together the three leave, almost.

The Master falters at the exit to the burning house.  David throws the unconscious man outside close but not close enough to the flames.  He picks up the Master and drags him out.  His strength is done and his body is burnt.  The only thing he managed to not destroy of himself was his small bracelet his mother gave him as a child.  He collapses and passes out.  He would not die from this, but he will not be up for anything for a while.  As his mind falls out of conscious he begins to feel raindrops pelting him from above.  At least his brother will stop the fire from spreading.

The young college bound man awakes in the barn on a makeshift bed.  The house must still be getting fixed.  He feels like he has been asleep for days.  Stopping himself from dying in that fire was hard enough, but also carrying two men during that he is exhausted still.

“Good afternoon, Brother.”  Frelock smiles down at his brother in the bed.  He has been sitting there with his red eyes waiting for the man to awake.  He had no hair on his head now and his robes of fire protection were even a little ruined.  The headband he has worn still his accidents started is gone and in its place a mark burnt into his forehead.  It was a Mark of the Order made by blessed water and carefully laid out spells.  It would keep his fire from getting out of order, but his power would not be dimmed.

“I am proud of you.”  David states with a smile when he finds his brother sitting there with the mark etched into his head.  “But that means…”

“Yes.”  Frelock frowns, but does not cry.  “Father died and we could not bring him back.  It counts, sadly.”

David nods pulling himself up into a sitting position.  “How is Mother taking it?”

“She ran off into the woods and has not returned.  I think she might have taken her life.”  Frelock sighs.  “Taking the life of one of the Order means I join, but now that I am a true member, Master wants me to leave this place.  There is nothing left here for me.  I just need to make sure you will continue on your life.”

“Continue to where?”

“College.  The President himself is willing to take you in.  We sent a bird to him yesterday after the fire died.”

“How long have I slept?”

“Sixteen or so hours.  I cannot leave you yet.  I will bring you safety to college and then I may never see you again.”  Frelock gives a mixture between love and sadness.

David sighs, lying back down in bed.  He still needs sleep.  “Frelock…”  He cannot think of what to say.  With outbursts like this how could he even think of leaving his brother to fend for himself.  The gods gave him the power, but neither the intelligence nor the wisdom to truly contain it.

“Sleep.  We will decide the route when you awake.  I should go search out Master Huoline.  Mayhap they found Mother crying in the bog.”  Frelock leaves as David falls back into deep slumber.

The story needs a lot of work. let me know if you’re interested in it.

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [Dragon Myth]

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