Chapter 1:

A Red Day

An Amateur's Story Collection

It was hard to sleep that night, not because of the heat of the room stuffed with prosthetic limbs or from the metal smelting in the blacksmith's furnace outside, but because the young boy’s mind wouldn’t let him. Tossing and turning in his bed, thoughts came flooding in, and soon after, the memories. As his eyes lay shut, his face bathed in cold sweat from discomfort. The sweet memories of that day turned into nightmares.

They replayed just as they did that day. The sun shone its brightest, and spring was in full blossom, as his favorite flower shop was filled with colorful bouquets.

“A walking plant?” the boy jested as he entered the shop.

“If you have time to be joking, would you mind helping me a bit?” a girl no younger than the boy peeked between the plants she held.

“A talking plant as well?” the boy continued his jest.


“Haha, sorry.” he chuckled as he took the potted plant from her hands, her face pouting behind it.

“Must you always enjoy teasing me?”

He looked back at her and quickly answered, “Yes.”

“That mischievous playfulness of yours will get you in trouble, Al.” she snapped at him as she set up the other flowers.

He placed the other pots as she did, still smirking at her and bickering as he did with her every day. Soon, their playful exchange was cut short when a customer of hers came in. Even though her mother ran the flower shop for the customers, she could have been regarded as the owner with how hard she worked.

As he helps place the last potted plants, he notices one of its flowers withering. With a few glances back and forwards with no one around, he breaths out, holding out his right hand over the plant. With a glow of red, the flower straightens back to life. He smirked as he placed the flower back like nothing happened. But maybe his little tricks having gone unnoticed for such a long time should have been a hint to him.

Later in the afternoon, the boy returned to the flower shop after his job of smiting with his master. The flower shop had been crowded with on-lookers, imperial guards, and high mages. He moved on despite all that, pushing a few out of the front of the shop to get in.

“Al!” the flower girl called to the boy the moment her eyes led upon him. Her arms were grabbed by one of the two high mages.

“What do you want with her.” he growled at them right away, his arm reaching for the mages’.

“This is imperial business commoner. Leave.”, a soldier announced, grabbing his arm midway.

“And what do the imperial dogs have to do with a flower shop?” he retorted back, grabbing the soldier’s arm with his right hand, the soldier’s face grunting in the unexpected strength.

“Al, please. Stop, okay? They just want to talk.” the flower girl said, her expression concerned about the scene before her.

“She is a Beldam, accused of witchcraft,” the mage boldly declared. The onlookers exchanged shocked expressions, with a few quickly leaving right after.

The boy only got enraged rather than frightened at the mention of that word. His grip only got stronger around the soldier’s arm as he now screamed in pain. The other soldiers drew their swords. In an instant, they were blown away with a push from the boy's hand as his eyes turned red. The two mages only stared in amazement.

With a gust of wind, one of the mages stood before him. Trying to defend himself, he used his powers, stretching out his arms. In the blink of an eye, his left arm was bent behind his back.

“Let’s clip your wings,” the mage whispered from behind the boy before a cracking sound echoed through the stop.

“Al!!” the flower girl called out, still being held by the other mage.

“And you need to be put down as an accomplice of witchery.” the other mage grabbed harder on her arms, lifting up her sword.

“Fiona! No!” the boy lashed out with all his might despite the pain but was held back by his left arm in the hands of the other mage.

“Maybe ripping it off might be best to quit you thrashing,” he whispered again from behind the boy as he did exactly that, the boy's screech echoing once again through the shop.

The flower girl’s eyes widen as her tears watered the petals of a few flowers trampled on the floor.

“Al…,” she whispered as the deafening screams of the boy begging muffled it out.

“May your sins be forgiven.”, the mage declared as she let her sword down before the boy’s eyes.

In a cold sweat, he awoke, eyes watering, heart racing, and body shivering despite the heat. He had managed to sleep in the heat before he had noticed. He would have wished it was just a dream, but his left prosthetic arm shivered as it also pulsed red with pain, reminding him that it wasn't.