Photo contributed by Karen Savoy
– Episode One –
“Only The Beginning”
In the village of Emerelus lived a pair of siblings, one was named Astoria and their younger sister was named Octavia. From the very moment Astoria entered the world, they thrived to make others happy. Despite having very little, Astoria would give to those who needed it the most. Yet, not everyone was so appreciative. From childhood, Astoria and their sister Octavia differed from one another. These differences pushed them further from each other despite being close in age, thus begun the squabbles.
In Octavia’s eyes, everything came easy to her older sibling, whereas for her, everything she had, she’d worked for. Octavia might not have seen Astoria’s kind actions in the village, but others were paying close attention, especially a certain guard by the name of Ash – head guard, at that. He brought Astoria’s kind and caring nature forward to the King, who was very pleased by Astoria. Since Astoria was so young, they needed their parents’ permission in order to serve his majesty. Fai and Caro Woodshire were very proud parents that jumped at the chance to say ‘yes’. Astoria then begun serving the village’s council, at a very young age too! There was a lot to celebrate, but not everyone was so impressed, as Octavia’s bitterness towards their sibling only grew greater and greater.
A year passed………
The siblings had not amended, if anything they had grown even more distant. Astoria always felt guilt for never being close to Octavia, yet, no matter what she did, their bond merely weakened and even more so whenever she reached out. Octavia wasn’t doing herself any favours either, growing more distant and isolated within the family. Octavia was always compared to Astoria and this further sparked her rage, so much so that she decided to become a guard herself in order to prove to everyone that Astoria wasn’t special, that they weren’t better than her.
Time passed and it took Ash with it, who soon retired, moving to another village with his family. With his departure, his title of head guard lay vacant, and Astoria stepped up, ready to be in his great shoes. They were only 20 when they ascended to this seat. Octavia’s rage simmered greater, Astoria’s shadow drowning her in darkness. Soon the volcano erupted as Octavia, tired of Astoria’s success, began scheming her own sibling’s ruin.
Another year passed and the new head guard turned 21………
The village wanted to honour them by throwing Astoria a huge birthday celebration. Spirits were high, including Octavia who felt this the perfect time to execute her plan. While Astoria celebrated with their guests, Octavia stepped away amidst the festive chaos, sneaking into the throne room where the King’s crown lay. Octavia grinned as it all came together, she approached the jewel of Emerelus, laying her fingers upon the powerful symbol, images of Astoria being framed flashing in her mind. Yet, as she was dead in the act, the doors suddenly swung open. Astoria and the King caught her ploy. Teary-eyed, Astoria bombarded Octavia with questions.
“Why would you do this, Octavia? Do you have any idea what they will do to you?” said Astoria while Octavia was taken away. Octavia said only one thing.
“YOU MADE ME DO IT!”
Days passed and Octavia’s plot was revealed to everyone. Without hesitation, the King sentenced her to death. The village gathered and everyone was there to see Octavia’s execution. Astoria stood among them trying to hold back their anger and disappointment. They couldn’t stop wondering why Octavia would try to frame them for stealing the crown. They were siblings, family, blood. Octavia showed no emotion as the King passed his judgement.
The Executioner fulfilled the sentence and Octavia was deemed dead. Fai and Caro sobbed unconsolably, the parents would now have to bury their own child. Astoria went over to them, staying by them during their hardship. The Woodshire family was assured that Octavia did not experience any pain, a swift death was the King’s only mercy.
Months passed and autumn begun………
After everything that happened with Octavia settled, things in the village began to feel normal again. Astoria was working harder than ever, providing for their family as the greater breadwinner. Yet, just as things were starting to calm, a cloud of red smoke suddenly formed, submerging the sky with its hold. Things only got stranger as that smoke took the form of a human.…
It was Octavia.
Astoria was stunned in horror and perplexion.
“YOU! What are you doing here? You are supposed to be dead!”
Octavia just looked at Astoria, and that’s when they knew that wasn’t really Octavia. It looked like her, but that wasn’t her entirely. After a long-lingered glance, Octavia spoke.
“You took away everything I loved by your greatness. Now, with my new-found power, I am going to take away everything you’ve ever cared about!”
Octavia then turned around with a devilish look, the image of her pointed finger seared into Astoria’s mind and they felt a sudden shift, as things would never be the same again. Octavia returned her fiery eyes onto Astoria, telling her:
“Now you know!”
With just that, she vanished, gone. Stricken, Astoria rushed back to their family, desperate to tell their parents what had just happened. Once Astoria arrived, she opened the door, met by the sight of her parents working at the bakery. They then turned to them, saying:
“Hello! What brings you to this town?”
Astoria responded with hot worry.
“Mom, Dad, it’s me Astoria! I’m your oldest/eldest child.”
They looked at them confused. That’s when Astoria realized what had just happened. Octavia had erased Astoria from everyone’s mind!
What will happen next………