Mark and Irwin Halo are twin brothers who are both Shadows with the same powers, Fire, Feather, and Strength.For the last two years since Nova's Love the brothers have grown closer as a single unit, sparring and using their technique of the Brush and the Bow to both tame Irwin's Nova half and tighten their synchronization.
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The character Jeromy Stuart is the eleven-year-old heir to Kipling Hawkin. Although he is unrelated to Kip by blood his powers are strikingly similar to his predecessor except for the dangerous fear growing within him and a monster that is threatening to take control. At this point, Jeromy would just like to know what's got him by the strings.
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Hi, I'm your friendly neighborhood Birdie, I am the author of eight books in the series THE SHADOWS (still working on the 9th) I'm in the process of illustrating, and editing, and I am here for fun art and input.
So Welcome to Birdie-dom! Home of Artwork, Graphic design commissions and Cosplay! Check out my gallery folders for my series of Book covers and All my Cosplay characters! You can find my negotiable prices in my prints shop and custom box below. I love this site so if there's anything you'd like to see out of my gallery just ask! I love watching anime, and BBC shows so suggestions and conversations are welcomed !
When at long last he drifted out of his waking dreams, so vivid and full of the life he once new, the first sight he saw above him he had come to know with accuracy. Every fractal and evidence of the smoke decorated the burn on the ceiling of his room assuring him that nothing had changed overnight. The room was cold for the glass in the windows had been long since shattered, but his covers kept him warm enough, and this was good to him. Sitting up slowly, Microux looked to his right at a table where a tea pot and single teacup was laid out, and next to it a lit, gold candlestick.
For a few moments he stared at them, mildly confused about how they had appeared there since no one lived in the remains of his parents’ manor in years, save himself. Very slowly, he pushed off the covers and set his feet over the side of the bed. With shaking fingers, Microux took hold of the teapot and carefully lifted the well of hot fluid and poured it into the teacup. He spilled a little and noticed a light grunt like the heat of the boiling water splashing against the saucer burned it and caused it paint.
He set down the teapot with care hearing the voice whisper, “English blend breakfast tea,” he did not respond to it however and slowly reached to take the teacup and saucer. The world was a dark twisted place where the halls were burned and dust covered everything, about his room laid collected objects which reminded him silently, by their presence of his past life. The twisted halls assured him, whispering to his frail heart, that he would stay here forever, haunted by spirits in the drapery which closed every night, clothes which folded themselves, tea which boiled itself, and a candlestick which appeared by his bedside every morning.
He blew over the tea until the frigid air cooled it and he sipped the dark rich flavor, warming his senses from the cold nights he endured. This house was looming and dark with the shadows of his mother and father’s spirits roaming the manor and caring for their son. Microux was almost certain he was dead and trapped inside this house to endure the overwhelming layers of delusions death had given to him. He stood up, carrying his tea across the room to a painting which was charred about its edges but still dimly displayed his parents faces. All he was able to do was stare at it and ignore the voices from behind him, questioning him when he stood there for hours into the morning.
When he finished the tea cup it left his hand and returned to the tray, which squirmed out of the room to begin boiling tea for the night breaking meal. However, Microux only stared longer at the painting, not ignoring the fact that objects moved on their own, but accepting it as normal. His mind drifted, looking about the room and slowly stepping back towards the bed, “Won’t you get dressed now?” a voice suggested to him. Slowly his eyes darted at the candlestick as if a bit startled.
“Microux,” it addressed him in a gentle soft voice, “You should get dressed,” it told him. he watched the flickering flames silently for a moment then gave a brisk nod. Quickly, Microux dug into his wardrobe and dressed himself, fastening the buttons unevenly, taking a few strokes at his auburn hair which danced about his shoulders in an unruly fashion, and he hurriedly tucked his feet into knee-high socks and boots. “Why are you in a rush?” the candlestick asked, concerned or the boy.
Microux knotted the lacing of his boots into an unsalvageable mess barely taking time to care for the buttons on his cuffs, “When the Old Clock… points to twelve and eight, breakfast has to be in place,” he spoke slowly, with effort as he rushed about. Too focused on dressing to speak which was already very difficult for him. Every word rolled off his tongue like honey, some taking longer than others and getting stuck, but the Old Clock, numbers, and mentioning breakfast were easy to say.
The sound of his boots stamping against the floors was like a steady drum, the evenness soothed his heart and he did not alter his pace even on the stairs down to the dining room. The aged wood floors creaked under the darkened velvet carpet, evidence of the fire was everywhere but the structure had not weakened in some places. However, in other places, it was unsafe to enter the room according to the candlestick and the old clock. Upon reaching the dining room, Microux stared out at the pale sky sparkling with large clumps of snow too big to be called snowflakes, and so dense they were like gray ash descending from the fire he had seen ages ago. He stopped on the last stair and his eyes locked on the sight of the dark snowflakes falling outside.
It was ashes descending outside and cursing the landscape, choking the air out of it, marking the house with the tragedy that had occurred there. Microux’s breath came out it puffs of fog for the house was always cold, but his fear overwhelmed him and he gripped his wrist, forming a fist in his left hand where he had held onto that key, while he scratched his wrist with his right hand, deepening the irritated groves already there. His reflection of his fear could be seen in the glass of the face of the Old Clock as he ran towards the drapes and hurriedly closed them so that the room became very dark.
“What are you doing, Microux?” the Old Clock burst upon seeing his sudden action and he sent the candlestick to stop him. As the light from its little flame drew nearer to him, Microux bashed it away knocking the lit candle right from the candlestick. The flame went out as it fell through the air, then broke in two as it hit the floor followed by Microux. He collapsed to the floor instinctively and held himself against the wall in terror, holding his ears and pulling at his hair, unable to withstand the flames still burning in his memory.
He lurched his head forward and swung back slowly and steadily like an inverted pendulum, he rocked to and fro slowly feeling calmer the longer he did it but nothing dampened his fear. “After the fire falls the ashes…” he whispered, “the fire will go out, then falls the ashes…” he closed his eyes hearing his own breaths as they rose and fell, “fire falls to ash…” he lulled softly.
“Microux!” the Old Clock urged from its place across the room and Microux tensed slowly looking up to suddenly see the hands of another person holding his arms. “Come now, it’s only snow, they’re not ashes!” he assured. Microux’s eyes locked on the man, seeing his deep green eyes, but he had short gray hair which appeared full of ashes and skin which folded in aged wrinkles like the skin on an old piece of fruit.
Microux screamed and pushed the man away, crying out and flailing to get out of the man’s grip even as the old man tried to control him as he kicked. “Microux!” the man raised his voice, “please calm down, it’s only me, the Old Clock, remember?” he tried to assure him as he fell into one of his fits, screaming and flailing on the floor until his arms and knees were covered in bruises. There was nothing a clock could do about it, nor a candlestick, nor a warm cup of tea.
Some time passed while he laid on the floor, tightly holding his knees and rocking until the candlestick and the teapot stood tall on the table, and breakfast was served. For a while, he could hear no voices of the living objects around him, and when the voices slowly returned, he drew himself up and seated himself at the table to eat.
“If his fits get much worse he’s going to hurt himself,” he heard the voice of the teapot whispering.
“It was only snow that set him off… anything that reminds him…” one teacup said softly.
“Are you alright, father?” the candlestick asked the Old Clock.
The aged old man bore a watch which had a distinctly higher pitched tick which Microux could make out from across the room. It seemed the Old Clock was the most supportive of the boy he had come to raise into adulthood and his worry for Microux evident in his voice was soothing as Microux closed his eyes and laid his head back against the head rest of the chair. It didn’t matter what they were saying, but hearing the voices always calmed him, knowing these things which appeared about the house for him which could talk were his friends.
The Old Clock shook his head, “I am fine, but it’s time we tried to do something for Microux, he can’t stay locked up here forever, not through another winter.”
“What do you suppose we do?” the candlestick asked worriedly, “he will not leave this house willingly, we have tried and hurt ourselves doing it.” The candlestick had a sense of power over the house, bringing light and organizing the things Microux had come to love.
Again the old Clock sighed, “He’s no longer a boy, Microux is twenty-two and he needs help, surely he was not always this way and he can be healed of the ailment he suffers from!” the Clock stood up tall in the room and let out a heavy dong at the top of the hour, “It pains me to say we’ve done all we can for him, we should call upon a doctor, who can help us cure him of the fear he has.”
To this, the candlestick and the teapot agreed and it seemed the teacup did not have much say in the matter, being younger and smaller than the rest of them. The Old Clock, being the oldest, existed in every room of this house in some form, and his spirit like a ghost followed Microux about, guiding him and keeping him safe. However, Microux did not often see the Old Clock was an old man who had cared for him since he was young. He denied that fact though, fearing people and contact with him, so believing those around him were objects made to serve him, made him more comfortable to be around them.
The teapot filled another cup of tea for Microux as he finished eating and he drank it slowly, staring up at the closed drapes where he would normally stare out the windows. Between sips he would set down his cup to continue scratching at his arm, digging deeper into the damage he had already done to it. The candlestick and the teapot knew better than to touch him, for he would not tolerate the contact, so there was nothing they could do to stop him from hurting himself in this way.
Over the last fifteen years, Microux had survive quietly in his parents house, unwilling to leave and believing he was alone so he created bodies for the voices he heard. He blocked out human contact from his perception of reality and somehow household objects were easier to assign personalities to. The Old Clock managed the household, making sure things were in order for the troubled master, the candlestick prepared the meals and made sure the house was lit and warm, and the teapot and the teacup in addition to bringing him tea also cleaned what portions of the home that were not burnt.
Not much could be done to restore the manor to his former splendor for Microux would not allow any unwelcome guests and his perception of them was something now of his faithful servants could ever understand. As the day went on, Microux walked the halls of the manor, quietly observing its remains and taking time to stare often into the deep wonders of paintings on the walls, and sculptures in the halls. He found himself in a study off from the stairs to the spire where he slept and as he walked in the candlestick made sure the fire was burning warmly in the end of the room.
Too often it was hit or miss with Microux and fire, sometimes he was obstinate about having the candlestick near him in the room, whereas other times it terrified him and he’d sit for hours in the cold, not allowing any light near him. After the hearth was burning bright, the candlestick disappeared for a few hours and Microux stayed seated, watching the fire after a few hours the teapot came and the drapes in the room were opened for a little more light, bringing with it, a large canvas and a wooden case.
Microux stared away from the teapot and the canvas as it arranged itself by the window, he propped his chin on his wrist and fiddled with his hair uneasily until the teapot was left at his side with the teacup and saucer near to it. When it had not moved for a few minutes, Microux slowly stood up and walked over to the canvas which had been placed upon an easel with a set of paints in a base on the table beside it.
The canvas was a person to him too, he felt it begged him to put his thoughts to something he could see, even though he never heard it speak. Quickly he spread out an array of paints on his palette, and he slowly mixed the dark colors together. He outlined the silhouette of the spire onto the canvas in black finely detailing every gothic peak fading upward from the roof. He painted, fire red and hot, and bloody background and flames rising up from all around it, the only lighting from the distant right of the painting as the assailants paraded away with their torches.
The door opened behind him and he looked up at the sky, realizing the snow had stopped and a pale winter sun shone through the blurry window panes. He had been standing there for hours, painting the details of his painting quickly. Behind him he heard the voice of the candlestick, speaking softly, “he does not know we are here,” the candlestick explained, “he refers to us as the candlestick, the Old Clock, and the teapot,” it gestured about to its fellows.
“Who are you to him?” another voice asked quietly. Microux tensed and his fingers curled around the paintbrush, clenching it tightly.
The candlestick glanced across the room, “he calls me the candlestick,” he stated discouraged.
The new, strange voice denied, “No, does he know who you are?”
Microux heard the candlestick sigh, sadly, “I am his uncle, his father’s brother,” to the Old Clock he gestured, “This is my father, Microux’s grandfather,” he introduced.
The Old Clock bowed slowly, “Charles Choixton,” he introduced himself politely.
The candlestick then turned his attention to the tea set which had been watching over Microux as he painted, “This is my wife, Gail, and our daughter Christine,” he gestured to them consecutively.
The new voice bowed slightly in return and his eyes drifted across the room to Microux, “Does he paint often?” the man asked striding closer with uneven steps. Microux heart was steadier and faster than the unsteady claps of the man’s feet against the floor causing his spine to stiffen.
The candlestick affirmed, “Almost every day, and he rarely deviates from that image,” he gestured aside in the room to a wall lined with canvases, mostly of the same size but some of them smaller, most of which displayed the tower. Some however, showed his room, recreations of the painting of his parents to exacting detail, and some of outside though there were only one or two, since he never left the house.
The man stepped over to the pile of paintings and defensively, Microux hurried over there to prevent the stranger from touching them, however he never met eyes with the man, staring at the floor and his paintings. Slowly the man reached out to browse through the stacks but Microux hurriedly stopped him, “Don’t touch!” he snapped, getting in front of him but not daring to touch the man, “They’re still not dry…” he added, worried for his canvases.
The man looked to him and very slowly, Microux looked at the man, not able to find his eyes, just his round belly, unbuttoned suit jacket, and dark blue bowtie. He thought it was a strange color for a bowtie, and that the man should have the decency to button his jacket. “Monsieur Microux…” he man addressed softly, “My name is Gerhardt Dentelle, I’m here to—”
Without a word, Microux reached out to the man and took hold of his jacket, unsure if the jacket would actually fit around the man’s belly but to his surprise it did. The man was left silent as Microux fastened the two buttons on his suit jacket then without speaking at all, Microux returned to his painting across the room. He took up the palette again and without much distraction at all he finished off the details on the spire and began filling in the rest of the background with a dark red, smearing it with black and brown upon the sky.
The man stared at him and Microux could feeling heating his back even from across the room as the man ask the candlestick, “How well does he speak?”
The candlestick’s voice was proud and happy, “Microux,” he called, the young man turned his head to the fire as if it spoke to him, “There is a kind of tea you don’t like, will you please let Monsieur Dentelle know what it is?”
Microux stretched it arm to the top corners of the canvas, not turning back to the group as he muttered, “Monsieur Dentelle…” he stumbled over the name, “may not have grey tea, the teapot does not make it… nor may he make it,” he muttered, dismissive of the objects behind him.
The candlestick furrow angrily, “Be polite!” he ordered sternly, “I’ve invited him to join us for tea this afternoon,” his voice grew louder than the idle whisper in the background he was used to.
Microux stepped back from the painting and rocked where he stood, “There can’t be any loud voices…” he whispered very softly, “the voices have to be quiet!” he repeated it softly as he tried to calm himself from the shock it gave him. He could take the loud noises, he didn’t care how many voices chanted in the background of his senses, as long as they were quiet. Yelling terrified him.
Carefully, though getting paint on his hands, Microux picked up the canvas and brought it over to the others having finished it very quickly. He set it down to dry then cleaned off his hands and walked out of the room muttering as he did, “We will not have tea this afternoon, Monsieur Dentelle can leave now,” he insisted softly as he hurried away from them.
Frustrated the candlestick hurried after him, followed by the man he had brought into the house. “Microux!” he urged still with raised voice. Microux stopped in the middle of the foyer, his eyes dashing about frantically for the candlestick set upon an end table across from the entryway and beside the stairs. It was not lit but he rushed to it and set it hands on the table staring at it with his brows drawn and he rocked before it waiting for it to speak.
The unlit candlestick was gold and heavy and it looked up at Microux with pity in its eye, the blackened wick of the candle, “Microux, Monsieur Dentelle is a doctor, he’s here to help you.”
Microux gripped the edges of the table reeling over it, a doctor was here to make him well, he wasn’t sick, he knew he wasn’t, the doctor wanted him to leave this place, but his home was his only hope of making it out of this terrifying purgatory forced onto him. He wouldn’t survive if he left, he couldn’t bear it. That man was a demon enticing him with hope or normalcy and excitement, but he was only to lead Microux down a path to the Hell where he came.
Microux reached out and grasped the candlestick’s neck, picking it up and raising the heavy gold towards the doctor. “I won’t leave!” he screamed suddenly, lashing out at the man who jumped back in terror the moment Microux came at him with the candlestick held high. Swinging the candlestick, Microux reached to grab the man with his left hand barely grasping his collar before the candlestick stopped him.
“Microux!” his uncle shouted, grabbing Microux around the torso and pulling him away from the man, but Microux found a grip on the doctor’s sleeve and pulled. Microux swung the candlestick, striking the man’s right arm with a fearsome blow and the force by which Microux pulled him caused him to stumble and Microux brought the candlestick down on his back, knocking the wind out of him. Microux screamed as his uncle pulled him off of the man, achieving a second blow before both of them fell to the tile floor.
“Henrie!” the teapot shrieked for fear as she watched her husband fight the grown boy.
The candlestick held Microux as tightly as he could, “Get the Doctor out of Microux’s sight, hurry!” he ordered with all haste. Just as she nodded, Microux broke free of his uncle’s grip and dashed up the stairs, not even paying attention to the unevenness of his steps until he reached his room in the burned spire. The door slamming behind him could be heard all through the house but within his room it was silence, peaceful lonesomeness, with little stimulation to calm him.
Silence, no voices, no flickering flames, not the steam of his tea or the coarseness of his covers, only quiet made him feel completely at peace. The cold air assured him that there was no chance of fire, but the snow outside pervaded the land, dusting it with ashes. Hours had been spent like this, hiding on the floor in the darkness with the drapes drawn, and shivering in the cold as he scratched his wrist where he had clenched the key.
Roaring flames engulfed the corners of the room, dark flames, hot like Hell without any light or any way of escape, these flames were only a glimmer in the night, seen over a great distance through the heavy snow. A spire just across and above from the dark cell burned like a torch from its corners, and as the glass windows shattered, two people could be seen nearing the edge, pressed against the flames like bayonets upon their backs. Between the frigid iron bars barely touched by the Hellfire in the room, a boy was held back against the stone wall, but he climbed up to the barred window to see just as the two distant figures fell from the spire.
The burning flames and the vision bore itself into his dark green eyes only able to stare horrified as he watched his own mother and father, plummet to their deaths, holding each other in their arms if they had not already passed on before the struck the snow. The gothic structures loomed over the fateful sight stretching kilometers above the tragedy but from far below it, his eyes only at ground level, the boy watched his own parents’ bodies set ablaze by those storming their home. Fire was the method by which their family was destroyed believing they would all burn, conclusively and eternally.
“Get down from there, Microux!” his handmaid ordered, grabbing him by his thin waist and setting his feet on the floor below the window. However feeling the woman’s touched, the boy suddenly let out a cry, shrieking for fear of the imagery spinning about through his mind like the pictures making up all his memory. He kicked and screamed until he was left on the floor holding his own head as he laid against the dirty stone floor. His parents knew this was coming and to keep him save they had trusted his life to his handmaid and sent him beneath the manor to the dungeon which was the safest place to hide. Everything was stone and iron, and there was no wood to burn consequently, the cold air seeped in through the bars of the narrow window.
When he had calmed, his handmaid helped him sit up and hurriedly, seeing there was no way to move him at this time without triggering him to scream in a panicking frenzy, the woman pressed into his hand a thick iron key, “Hold onto this, Microux,” she ordered, “don’t let it go, when it’s time to leave you’ll need it!”
The young boy stared down at the key as tears flowed over his eyes but he shook his head, “Don’t leave…” he whispered, “I can’t leave!” he insisted, “I have to stay right here!” he demanded bringing his voice to a yell.
The handmaiden shushed him, “That’s right, we’ll stay right here until it’s safe,” she assured him quietly. Slowly she sat down on the cold floor near to him, holding him tight and keeping him safe as she had promised to. They could feel the heat from the flames outside but they could do nothing as the household crumbled around them. Microux was young, gaunt, and weak minded, but to his parents, he was the only thing of worth they truly had, it was their dying wish to protect him. still there was something odd about Microux that had just started to blossom before all this, a creative imagination, which blurred reality for him, bringing to life his startling fantasies.
The boy covered his ears at the screech of the steel door swinging open cursing his sensitive perceptiveness with pain. Within his handmaid’s protection he slowly rocked his body back and forth, to comfort himself with steady motion unable to do much more from locked inside this cell. He paid little attention when four men from the village with rifles and torches in their hands stepped down into the dungeon. “Find the key!” Microux heard one of them say upon seeing the two of them inside the cell and he clutched tighter to cold iron in his hand.
Microux’s handmaid stood up slowly, “Just leave the boy be, you done what you set out to accomplish, he’s only a boy, what harm could he do you?!” she yelled to attempt and ward them off, staying in front of him as she did.
One man with a gun that bore a long bayonet on the end suddenly struck the sturdy iron bars with the butt stock of his gun terrifying the boy and making him cry out loudly as he held his ears. “Why would the late Le Marquise de Choixton promise his entire fortune to an invalid such as that!” he spat through the bars at Microux. The boy shuddered and pressed himself up against the wall whilst gripping the key over his heart.
The man set his gun to his shoulder, causing the maid’s spine to stiffen and Microux lifted his eyes to see in the moment before his handmaid spoke, “What do you even want with the boy, you’ve destroyed the Choixton fortune!” she shouted.
At this the man sized her up closing one eye behind the fuse on his rifle, “I could care less if he died, I’m just here to ensure he does!” He then directed his rifle at the young boy and without giving it a second thought pulled the trigger letting the hammer fall upon his powder. In the smoke and the backfire no one saw except Microux how quickly his handmaid jumped in the line of fire to save his life in giving up her own. Microux’s eyes grew wider than they could stretch as the woman fell, striking her head against the stone as blood trickled from the wound close to her heart.
Microux screamed much like the voice of a wraith, holding his ears as he stared down at the black pool slowly drifting out from the woman’s body. All the strength he had left to him he screamed out as he was unable to move, only watching as the men who had killed her, pointed a torch into the cell. Microux stared into the flames horrified and unable to move, unable to look away, as the men set fire to the handmaiden’s clothes and burned her body where she laid. His eyes dashed to one of them men pointing a gun at him, and his breathing accelerated for fear until the man who had shot Microux’s handmaid stopped him, “Leave him, he has no way out, let him starve to death in his insanity!” he snapped and the four men left him in the cell with the burning body.
That night was not the source of Microux, Le Marquise de Choixton Duex’s insanity, but it was the fuel, creating a great barrier in his mind, which was impenetrable, making it impossible for him to see through to reality. His memory immortalized everything he had seen that night, and he had little clue that any time passed after that, the only hint he had of being alive were the steady things, reoccurring, proof that things that faded away would return to him.
If I have successfully sucked you in, you have just witnessed the prologue of my new NaNoWriMo project! For all of you I will clarify right now, the main character Le Marquise Microux de Choiton Duex is an autistic boy with PTSD, but this is the 19th century and no one knows that those are. Before I get any crap about how I refer to and describe this character because he's autistic, I have been volunteering with my church for years to care for and teach Bible-school lessons to those in our church is disabilities. I am very close friends with multiple people who have Autism or Aspergers. I mean no disrespect to them in writing this. Also keep something important in mind whenever you read this.
Having autism does not make an individual any less smart than a typical person, and often Autism heightens one's perception of noise, sight, and all senses, including memory, so an individual with autism is always smarter than you think!
Fading Rose: Chapter 1
That said, enjoy!
The Shadows are a race apart from the Humans chosen at birth by the Trust of the Shadows to wield abilities. The story is set in the year 2030 onward focusing on a young Shadow named Mark Halo who has recently discovered his powers. While most Shadows are taken to the "ASH" at birth, his power is to hide from and defy the ASH. Through the story he learns this power can free the Shadows and later he learns about the secrets the ASH has held about the Shadows since it was created. Mark goes from thinking he is a Human to striving for the highest possible rank in the Shadows, The Overseer, which would make him ageless and responsible for keeping secrets and revealing them in due time.
If you have further questions about the Shadows, a requests for excerpts feel free to ask. For more updates and quotes from the books please visit THE SHADOWS's blog at theshadowsillustrations.tumblr…