Chapter 2 Water & Fire


Water & Fire

Years later the young body of Lilly lay watching a silver light cast its glow over her; listening to the shattering fountain of the chilled waters; feeling the gentle lap of the ice cold, black waters that glinted like armour; smelling the cool spray that drifted over the damp banks and tasting the pure water that ran down from the mysterious mountains. She lay in the shingle of the shallow waters next to her home on the banks of the river.  Her long white dress pressed against her pale body and her hair was brown but was darkened by the cool water. Her eyes gazed up into the sky. The branches of an old tree masked the shining globe that shed its light over the thundering falls. She watched the glowing mystery float boldly above her as the moon filled her eyes and cooled them with a pale yet empty glow. Lilly lay motionless in the darkness and listened to the rush of the water, the breaths of the stars and the chatter of the stones that rattled along the bed under the falls.

The clock in the village struck the hour: Midnight. Lilly sat up and let the water glide off her. Its chilling fingers ran through her hair and fell back into the cold river. She swayed to the banks and climbed out. Then holding her dress up so it didn’t get muddy she tiptoed over the snow tipped grass up to a gate that had an arch of roses which curved round a frame. She padded up the stone path in her bare feet and passed the rose bushes that were covered in a dusting of snow. They rustled, almost whispered to each other. Lilly hushed them and crept over to a carefully hidden ladder against the side of the house. She climbed the wooden steps and slipped through an open window where she landed on a large, blue rug that covered the floor. She stood in the warmth of the room and listened to make sure her entrance had not woken anyone in the household.

Her room was comfortable with a cream, blue and dark purple colour scheme. She had a four poster bed that was draped with a delicate, lace cloth and the pillows and duvet were thick, blue cotton. The desk opposite the bed was painted blue and had a vase of flowers on it. The wardrobe was wood that had been carved and chipped so that flowers bloomed in the grain. There was an oil lamp lit by her bed and the room was full of candles of every size, colour and texture: white, gold, green, and blue – every colour except pink. They were all alight and cast a warm glow over the pale, white walls.

Lilly was part of a middle classed family who lived in the quiet village of Hawes, a country town that was small and trouble free. She lived with her mother, stepfather and stepsister. Lilly had been told that her father had left when she was born and never came back. The fact that Lilly was a knave gave her sister full advantage over her.

Lilly began to shiver. She stripped herself of the cold, white gown and let it fall heavily to the rug where the water seeped down to soak the woven fabric. Lilly quickly pulled on her cotton night dress which stuck to her damp skin. She was slim and elegant with pale, smooth skin and grey eyes that looked like crystals. She was a plain girl and kept to herself: So shy and quiet it was easy for her sister to talk her down.

A breeze came in through the window, blowing some candles out and allowing snow flakes to drift into the room. Lilly tried to shut the window slowly, but the metal hinges squeaked loudly as they were old and needed greasing. The painful shriek echoed around the house making Lilly panic and leap into bed where she hid under the covers leaving the window as it was. Foot steps came along the hall way and an older woman holding an oil lamp opened the door. She was tall and pretty; her plain brown hair subdued her thin face but her eyes reflected the candle light making her appear angry. It was Lilly’s mother – Abigail: She was agitated and tired as she stepped quickly over to the bed and drew the covers back with a whip of her arm. Lilly lay motionless and pretended to be asleep.

“Oh Lilly, what have you been up to? Not again,” complained Abigail. Lilly said nothing but remained in pretence of sleep. Abigail grew angry and grabbed Lilly’s hair. “I know you’ve been down to the river again, your hair is wet! That white dress you always wear is soaking into the carpet! Do you think I’m stupid?” Lilly didn’t move. Abigail sighed and sat down next to her. “I’m just concerned, Lilly. You’ll catch the death of cold. It’s not good for you. I wish I knew why you do it,” she said brushing the damp hair out of Lilly’s face. Lilly remained still.

This agitated Abigail who snatched up the white dress and stormed out of the room. She slammed the door and went downstairs placing the lamp on a table in the kitchen. She went over to the Aga that was drying clothes from the wash so the room smelt of warm soapy water. Abigail hung the dress up to dry then sat at the table. She tapped her fingers on the wood irritably as she glared at the dress dripping on the slate floor.

The door to the kitchen creaked open and a head popped round which smiled at Abigail. A girl emerged from the hall way and skipped over to her mother. She had the most beautiful blonde hair a child could ever have. It was soft and silky and it flowed gently over her rosy cheeks. Lilly’s sister, Rose, was a beautiful child who was very charming and polite to everyone she met.

Her eyes were small and blue and caught the light of the oil lamp that flickered around her and made them light up. Her cheeks were as soft as petals and her lips were pink as a rose. It was as if a painter had taken a doll and painted it so exquisitely that the result was a living angel. The thirteen year old was the pride of the family and the town. Abigail smiled at her daughter and hugged her tightly. Rose was a charming sight.

“Has she been in the river again?” asked Rose in a soft and sweet voice. Her mother nodded. The child held her close and comforted her. “She’s just being silly, mummy,”

“I know, Petal but it’s so annoying. She’s odd enough,” Abigail sighed and pushed Rose off to bed.

“Goodnight, mummy,” said Rose as she disappeared out of the door. Abigail smiled and made herself a cup of weak tea.

Rose crept back upstairs and into Lilly’s room were her older sister was slowly putting out the candles one by one. Rose stood in the door way and smiled.

“What do you want you little pest?” asked Lilly as she pinched a candle wick.

“You made mother cry,” said Rose still smiling, though not as sweetly as she had done before.

“It’s not my fault or your business,” replied Lilly putting out another candle.

“Are you a fish? Is that why you go down to the water? Why do you have to wear that dress? It’s stupid!” said Rose with spite glowing in her cheeks as she glared at Lilly.

Rose was indeed a beautiful child but her true nature was pure evil. To everyone else she was a dear, but to Lilly she was a spoilt little brat. She hated Lilly because she was older and taller and didn’t have blonde hair. Rose hated her hair and was truly jealous of Lilly who was not cursed with a pale yellow head. Rose wanted to be better than her at everything. She had so far managed to keep all in illusion to her true nature. Lilly tried to tell her mother about Rose’s deceit but she just thought it was jealousy. Only Evelyn, her best friend, believed Lilly about her wretched sister. Rose could manipulate her parents with her acute charm that sickened Lilly. One was the ugly duckling and one was the swan.

“Shut up Goldie Locks, go to bed!”

“You’re an idiot! You’re so stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid!” Rose’s delicate petal cheeks burned as she mocked Lilly.

“Get out before I burn your hair off,” Lilly held a fat candle in front of Rose who looked shocked for a second but quickly recovered to push the candle back into Lilly’s face. The hot wax spilt in her eyes and she screamed, grabbing blindly at her sister but Rose ran out to the hall way.

“Mummy, Lilly’s burnt herself!” Abigail rushed up the stairs and gasped at Lilly. She was kneeling on the floor crying and wiping off the wax that was hardening on her face. Abigail carefully and gently picked the flakes off Lilly’s burnt skin and turned to Rose.

“What happened?”

“I was walking past her door and said good night but Lilly ran over to shut the door and fell - and the candle - and it burnt her and -” Rose started to hyperventilate. Abigail left Lilly and comforted Rose.

“She’s lying, she was in here shouting at me and pushed . . . the . . .” she paused and sighed, “candle.” She stopped and watched her mother calm Rose and breathe with her. The little horror had done it again. She made Lilly look bad in front of her mother who was looking after the brat that had caused everything. Lilly used the sleeve of her night gown to rub the last of the hot wax from her eyes while Abigail hushed Rose and carried her to bed. Lilly shut the door quietly and tucked herself in. A tight pain grew in her throat as tears welled up: She cried into the pillow. Abigail came back and sat on the bed next to her gently stroking her hair.

“Does it still hurt?” she asked sympathetically. Lilly stopped crying and turned to face her mother. “You should be more careful with all these candles, you could start a fire.” Lilly said nothing but just looked at her in questioning. How can you be so blind?

Abigail shut the window, put out all the candles then left the room. Lilly had put up with being second best for thirteen long years. The plague of her life was a blood sucking, spirit crushing, manipulative, jealous parasite called Rose. Her name defied the true meaning of the flower and Lilly liked to believe that the roses withered on their branches the moment she was born.


A rose: Beautiful - Blooming with optimism - A flower that resembles love and joy to others.

Rose: Beautiful - Exploding with spite and jealousy - A child that brings illusions and false love - A child that brings sorrow and anger to others.


Michele   Michele wrote
on 7/10/2009 10:26:34 PM
Love the fairies--my mother taught me when I was very little to think of them if a nightmare woke me and they would chase the bad dreams away...

frederic   frederic wrote
on 7/9/2009 6:35:54 PM
Very good descriptive passages that heighten our interest in Lilly. You've gone quite a ways in establishing Lilly as an interesting main character.

VRGunslinger   VRGunslinger wrote
on 7/9/2009 5:31:28 PM
Every night in my dreams I see you, I feel you That is how I know you go on Far across the distance And spaces between us You have come to show you go on Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on Once more you open the door And you're here in my heart And my heart will go on and on Love can touch us one time And last for a lifetime And never let go till we're gone Love was when I loved you One true time I hold to In my life we'll always go on Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on Once more you open the door And you're here in my heart And my heart will go on and on You're here, there's nothing I fear And I know that my heart will go on We'll stay forever this way You are safe in my heart And my heart will go on and on

Ve   Ve wrote
on 6/16/2009 8:24:51 AM
Yeah rose is a blighter but i get my own back on her ;D You really want more? I will pop on the next chapter.

WAN   WAN wrote
on 6/16/2009 8:22:38 AM
i love this so much. How could they rate it 9 only? Its a very wonderful story. I want to read more Ve. I want to know what will happen to poor Lilly. Its a very good story that even made me angry with that little rose.:)

Novel / Novella
writing Ve
We are all here to make our own mistakes :)
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Rating: 9.7/10

This is the second chapter to my first book. Are any of you an only child? You will be glad after reading this.
A Word from the Writer
Its about 5 pages long so only read it if you have time :)