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Several days ago I said I would post a first chapter to something I have been working on. I said I would post it the next day, but life got the best of me and I am just now able to post it.

Not sure where the idea came from or where it will take me, but I thought I would share it with you all. I would definitely appreciate some feedback from everyone. Would you continue reading this based on this rough, un-formatted, unedited excerpt?

The Rising (Tentative Title)

I was awoken when a ray of light shot through the window, perfectly resting on my right eye. Ninety-two million miles away and somehow the Sun had perfect aim. I pushed myself up into a sitting position and threw my aching feet onto the stone floor. I immediately regretted the decision as the blood raced into my appendages, sending a fierce wave of needles to my brain. I clenched my teeth and hissed through the pain. A dirty bandage came loose from my head and fell across my face. As I reached up I tried to remember what had happened to me which had required the doctoring, but all I could recall was a fall. Someplace high.
As I scanned the dim room, I became increasingly aware of my thirst. My tongue was like leather in my mouth and there was no drop of saliva to relieve it. I opened my mouth slowly and could feel the skin of my lips crack and tear. What pain I felt in my legs and lips were forgotten as I looked around me.
The room was without a doubt a healing quarter to some monetary. I had seen one near identical when my sister lost her battle against the fever and passed on. More peculiar than anything was the lack of fire. It was midwinter the last I could recall and even a province as far south as Vale grew bitterly cold this time of year. With much effort, I managed to stand. It was harder than I would have imagined to put one foot in front of the other, though I didn’t appear to have any visible injuries below my head.
I made my way to the tattered red curtains the singular beam of light had pierced through and pulled them open. I was shocked to see the oval hole had been boarded shut, save for a small gap near the top. Monasteries were not prisons, and I was no criminal. Why would this window be haphazardly patched? As I pondered the possible reasons, a chilling wind pushed through every crevice of the boards and I became aware I was without clothes.
It was hard to see anything in the room due to the blocked window and the dreadfully empty hearth. As I made my way to what appeared to be a robe hanging from a hook by the door I noted that the wind had stopped. Though I was glad the cool air had ceased, it gave way to a new realization. There was no other sound.
I pulled the simple wool robe from its rest and shook out a slight layer of dust which clung to its dark gray fibers before sliding it on. It was a little larger than what I would normally wear but the protection from the intermittent breeze was welcome. I tied the rope-made-belt around my waist and reached for the door handle. I pushed but nothing happened. Maybe even monastery doors had locks, I thought. As my fingers fumbled in the dark for some obscured keyhole another chilling gust blew through my small cell, sending the curtains flapping.
As far as I could tell the door contained no mechanism for a lock, and so I pushed again—nothing. Had the door been barred the same as the window? Had I unconsciously lay in this room while the priests abandoned the place? And if so, why? What evil could make these self-proclaimed followers of the light forsake their holy building for greener pastures?
Despite my malnourished body, I tried ramming the door with my shoulder. It did not budge. I had no choice but to continue. If I could not break it down then perhaps at the least someone would hear my struggle and come free me. I rammed the door again, and thrice—nothing. I collapsed onto the cold stone floor and rested my head against the wooden door. Through labored breaths I thought I heard something—some movement in the distance. I steadied my breathing and pressed one ear against the door. I strained to make out anything other than the persistent wind and my own breathing, but I again heard nothing. I began to beat on the wood with my hands in desperation. The awareness of my parched mouth came back to me as a struggled to shout for help. I called out as loud as I could in my hoarse voice for whoever might could hear. Surely such a large building as a monastery could not lay completely empty.
I yelled until my voice left me and I could put no more effort into my knocks. It was apparent that I would have to make my own way out, somehow. I lay once more against the floor, my back now rested against the thick wooden door. I wanted to get up but could not. I was exhausted and drained. Not long ago it would have been relatively easy for me to break down this door. That was before whatever event happened which put me in this place. I may die here, a man of only twenty and five; trapped in a healer’s room turned prison. I closed my eyes and once again tried to remember exactly how I had come to this place.
As I searched my mind for the recent past I was once again disturbed by the small beam of light from the window. The sun had repositioned itself as I worked futilely against the door and again rested upon my right eye. It seemed as if the light didn’t want me to rest today; I laughed at the notion.
I begrudgingly pushed myself into a squatting position, then extended my legs until I was fully upright. Again I heard a sound outside the door, or so I thought. I turned and mustered another yell.
“Hello? Please, anyone! I am trapped!” No answer of voice nor continued movement came. It must just be the wind pushing through some other window.
I searched the room for anything I could use to pry open the boarded window, but whoever had left me in this room had not been kind in leaving behind much of anything. Aside from the robe I now wore there was little more than a dry basin, a foul bed pan, and some unused medical supplies.
I picked up a sharp knife that lay on a wooden bed table. With so little light it was hard to tell the sharpness of the edge, so I lightly pressed it against my thumb. It nicked the dry flesh almost immediately. The knife was too big for medical or surgical use, more likely than not it was only there to cut the wool bandages that were now loosely wound around my head. With that in mind I temporarily set down my new blade and unwound the bandages. The first layer was dirty, near brown, but soon gave way to a bright white. As I unbound more the fabric took on a hint of pink, eventually ending in a dark black which I had to pull with some effort from my scalp.
I dropped the stained bandages and lifted my right hand to my head, slowly pushing my fingers through my matted hair and in the direction from whence the dark portion of the cotton had come. My fingers met dry flakes of old clotted blood. Growing braver I pressed on the spot. I scrunched my face at the dull pain that emanated from the wound. Whatever had caused it, it had been a large gash to the back of my head on the right side. I thought it odd that it could already be as healed as it was. Something that large would have taken weeks to heal. As I contemplated what this could mean, the sun shaft shifted slowly and reflected off the empty basin. The glint caught my eye and I remembered my task.
I picked up the knife and made my way around the bed to the red curtains and boarded window once more. Grabbing the tattered cloth with my free left hand, I pulled hard and ripped it from its rod then repeated the action on the adjacent side. The boards that blocked my salvation were thick, but haphazardly placed. Whoever had put them there had done so in haste. I raised the knife and stabbed at the wood. Despite the ease it had for cutting flesh and cloth, the small blade made nothing more than a pock mark on the wood. I tried again. I stabbed and slashed at the wood for at least a quarter hour with nothing to show for it other than some dusty air and a few splinters. Distraught and defeated I turned and threw the knife across the room.
If only the window were not so high I could likely kick the wood through. It was nailed from the outside after all. Again the sun shifted and the glint off the dusty basin gave me another idea. The table it sat upon was small, perhaps a foot across at its widest. It stood on three legs that were also no more than a foot long. I would use it for extra height and hopefully be able to kick my way out of this coffin.
I lifted the small water basin from the table with care but it was slick with dust; it had not had a drink for near as long as I. It’s blue and white porcelain crashed against the stone floor and lay in ruin. For a moment I wondered if some priest would be saddened by the loss, but then I heard the noise from outside the door again and all other thought left me. This time it sounded like running. I jolted to the unopenable door and once again beat against its hard wood and yelled. And once more I was met with silence. Perhaps the monastery had been abandoned and not all doors and windows were barred. It was likely a deer or other animal was out there seeking shelter from the cold winds blowing in from the north. My hope once again turned to the window.
The table was more like a squat stool than anything, and it was surprisingly heavy. The priests seemed to have nothing made from anything other than stone and hardwood, a damnable inconvenience at this moment. After working harder than a man should need to move naught but a stool, I rested upon its smooth surface. The sun shaft which had kept me company throughout the day’s ordeal was starting to fade. There was no way to know what time of day I had woke, but it was painfully obvious a long, cold, painful winter night was closing in on me.
From habit I licked my dry lips as I steadied myself on the table. Dry tongue rubbed across cracked lips and made me clench my teeth again, near biting the parched muscle as it recoiled. As soon as I made it out of this window I would run to the fountain. All monasteries had courtyards, and all courtyards in Vale seemed to have fountains dedicated to the god of life.
The re-realization of my thirst pushed me into immediate action and I gave the boards a hard kick. Two separate and distinct cracks sounded. I had managed to break two boards slightly from their hold on the left side, but the movement and weight of my body had discovered a weak leg on the tripedal table and it too cracked loose from its holding. I tried to hop down to safety before I fell but it was no use. My legs flew back with the stool and my forehead connected with the stone oval of the window. Darkness took me then.
Written By: Adam Poe (34 Posts)

Adam works hard but tries not to take himself too seriously. He is the second-best author in his household, and has published a total of zero books under his own name. When he isn't spending his time writing things that never happened or wondering if he was born either 3,000 years late or 3,000 years early, he can be found hugging the air-conditioner in his home near Phoenix.