The Year of the Lumin Chapter 1
This is the first chapter of the fantasy trilogy “The Lumin Prophecies” by Andrew Ryan Henke. Check back each Friday for the next chapter. If you would like to purchase the full book and not wait, it can be purchased here for $7.99: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AR1I724?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
With a rapid, “Br-r-r-r-r-r-rt,” the spiral notebook page that Noir was drawing on suddenly vanished from under his pencil. He tried to grab it before the thieving hand from behind him escaped.
“This again! God, you’re a retard. Can’t you draw anything else?” Whenever Noir’s mind would wander, sometimes without him even realizing it, his hands would draw what he had seen inside that cave a year earlier. He would sketch all the little strange characters and drawings that he was forced to stare at for the longest hour of his life. Somehow the excruciating pain seemed to help solidify the image in his mind. The notebook paper with Noir’s drawing was hastily crumpled into a ball and bounced off of Noir’s head.
Noir thought to himself, “Idiots.”
Noir tried to focus on the eleventh grade literature lesson being presented in front of him, but his mind kept wandering. Next week he would see his cousins in Wyoming again. His mother and father would pack up the family van and drive the nine hour trip from their town in Nebraska to the small country residence just like they had done the last five years since Uncle Steven moved. Steven practically begged his identical twin brother to visit him each year since he had no family anywhere close. He would always say things like, “Make sure you bring the kid. He’s always good for a few rock-skipping contests,” or “laughs at a fishing trip.”
Despite his family’s warnings, a year earlier Noir and his older cousin Aimee had been hiking on Medicine Mountain, which was a few miles away from the small town where Steven’s family lived. The boulder had crushed Noir’s leg in such a way that it could not be completely repaired by the doctors. He still had an obvious limp whenever he walked, but at least he wasn’t in a wheelchair or crutches any more. He had not talked to anyone except Aimee about the odd image he had seen in the cave.
The electronic tone for the end of the class snapped Noir out of his day dream. He looked down and noticed that he had nearly finished another drawing. His mind had been wandering to those stairs more and more recently since he was about to return to the area. No matter what awful things happened last year, he knew he had to go back to the cave.
Noir gathered up his stuff, crammed the drawing into a folder, and hobbled toward the door. As he exited, the chaos of the high school hallway caused him to not see his two friends, Ryan and Cedric standing behind the door. They had been long-time friends throughout school and even though they rarely did things together outside of school, they both had made a special trip to visit Noir when he was in the hospital for his surgery.
Ryan said, “Hey Noir.”
Noir was surprised to see them. “Oh, hey. What’s goin on?”
Cedric responded, “Just left Mrs. Ismin’s class.”
Ryan interrupted obnoxiously, “Snooze fest!”
“Ugh, I know. I’m jealous that you both got done with her last semester.” Cedric noticed Noir’s frustration even though he had tried hard to hide it. “Everything alright?”
Noir was surprised he noticed. “Yeah, yeah. Just the same idiots as always in that class. It doesn’t matter.” He brushed his hand through the air as if to dismiss the topic. “Now, what do you losers want?”
Ryan said, “Well, my parents got this free deal on a white water rafting trip. Cedric’s coming, but we have room for one more. If you want…” his eyes dropped to Noir’s leg for a brief second before jumping back up to his eyes. “Or, you know, if you can, my parents said you could come.”
Noir had never been rafting before and it sounded like fun, but his family was taking that trip to Wyoming. Nothing was going to make him miss visiting that cave again.
“Ryan, don’t you remember? I always visit my Uncle Stephen and his family for spring break.”
“Yeah, but we thought…” Cedric started.
“Family trips are boooooring,” Ryan finished.
Noir smiled and started toward his next class, passing them. “Isn’t that what you two are going on?”
“Well, yeah, but you could die in the rapids,” Cedric said from behind Noir. “It’s death defying stuff! Much more fun than what you’re doing!”
Noir laughed. “Sorry guys, I just can’t.” He limped away into the crowd of passing high-schoolers knowing a comeback would come from behind.
As expected, he heard Cedric’s playfully mocking voice behind him, “Okay, you go have fun with mummy and duddy.”
Noir simply waved “bye” over his shoulder and walked on into the congestion of the high school hallway. It felt good that they had asked him, but he had to get back the cave to investigate. Plus, he knew his uncle and cousin would be upset if he didn’t come.
Noir walked as fast as he could toward his next class. He always had trouble making it on time with his leg and sometimes the teachers didn’t give him any slack if he was late. The hallway was noisy and crowded as always, and people pushed past Noir to get to their own classes on time. One running student carelessly bumped into Noir as he dodged his way through the crowd. Noir stumbled and caught himself on a door handle.
Noir grunted and thought, “Just four more days of this until spring break and Wyoming.”