I have decided to rework the first 5 chapters into a 300 page novel where I fully flush out Chris and Taylin. I am also planning on writing a series of books that details Chris's adventures on Ouranos, but that is now a long way off.
I am planning to post reworked versions of chapters 1-5 at the very least, but I do not know if I will post the entire novel. I also want to thank everyone who has sent me replies, and I hope this version of Chapter 1 gives you a better idea of what I had in mind for Chris.
Well, this version of CH1 needs no disclaimer. Nothing sexual happens in the entire book, but I am planning on developing a loving relationship between two young teenagers. If the possibility of that offends you, then go read something else.
This story has been copyrighted under the pseudonym Taylin. A copy has been placed here for your enjoyment. This story cannot be used to derive monetary gain, nor placed in archives that require payment for access, or printed and distributed in any form that requires payment either directly or indirectly.
This story is fictional, and is solely a product of my imagination. Any similarities to real individuals, living or dead are entirely accidental.
Please send any comments, suggestions, or constructive criticism to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lost Land of Ouranos
Something was wrong. An annoying noise kept passing him in and out of consciousness. The noise became more pronounced. Someone was knocking on the door. He tried to ignore it, but it just wouldn't go away.
"Chris, are you awake in there honey?"
Chris buried his head into the pillow and groaned. He didn't want to wake up; he didn't feel like waking up. Just go away mom, leave me alone.
"I'm going to make breakfast. Do you want some pancakes?"
Chris didn't answer. Maybe if I ignore her, she will just leave.
"Well honey, come downstairs when you feel hungry. Breakfast will be ready."
Chris turned on his side and stared at the door. He could hear her going down the stairs. He closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep. He tried to block out the banging of pots and pans coming from the kitchen. He tried not to think about food, or the beginning of a new day. Then his stomach rumbled.
This isn't working, I can't go back to sleep.
Chris ripped off the covers to the bed and wiped the sleep out of his eyes. He managed to get on his feet and stumbled across the room to open the shades. Averting his eyes from the window, he let his vision adjust to the bright morning light. He stifled a huge yawn as he walked back to the bed and put on yesterday's clothes.
Chris looked around at his room in disgust. He hadn't cleaned it in weeks. Clothes were laying everywhere, and several books were strewn haphazardly about the room. He didn't feel like cleaning it up right now, so he left his room the way it was and went to the bathroom.
Chris felt a little bit better after using the toilet and splashing some water on his face. He sighed dejectedly at the wisp of a boy he saw in the mirror, and quickly combed through his messy light blond hair.
Chris's stomach rumbled again. There was a sweet aroma of blueberries wafting from the kitchen, and he couldn't resist the urge to at least eat some breakfast. He tiredly made his way down the stairs and pulled a chair up to the table. The pancakes were already sitting there for him.
Mother was busily working on another pancake, and had a pot of coffee brewing. She was already dressed for work, her long brown hair done up to keep it out of her way.
"I didn't have to go into work until later, so I thought I'd fix you a special treat this morning. I know how you like blueberry pancakes sweetie, and I hope this makes you feel better."
Chris poked at his pancakes halfheartedly, taking small bites.
"How are you feeling this morning honey, did you sleep well?" Mom said with concern in her voice.
"I wish you would have just let me keep sleeping." Chris mumbled under his breath. Mother seemed not to have heard it.
"So, do you have any plans for the last weekend before school? Maybe you could go over to Timmy's?" Mother said, trying to sound supportive.
I don't want to go to Tim's house. I`d rather stay in my room and read. Chris didn't show any sign of replying, and just moved pieces of pancake around on his plate without eating anything.
"Chris, you have been locked up in that room all summer. You need to get outside more."
Chris set down his fork and slumped back into his chair. I hate it outside. I never want to go outside again.
"You used to play basketball over at Timmy's all the time. Maybe if you went out and tried it again, you'd remember how much you used to enjoy it. Maybe you could even join the 8th grade basketball team this year."
"Mom, I suck at basketball. I haven't been able to beat Tim since the 5th grade." Chris said grumpily. Because I'm just too damn puny.
Mom put the last pancake onto Chris's plate, and pulled the orange juice out of the fridge.
"Well you're not going to get any better if you just sit up in that room with your nose buried in a book." Mother spoke matter-of-factly.
Chris felt anger begin to boil in the pit of his stomach. "Just drop it mom! Tim and his friends don't want me around anyways. He just thinks I'm a little pest. And if I can't keep up with them, how the heck would I do on a team?" It didn't used to be like this. I just wish it could go back to the way it was.
Mother gave Chris a look of lament, then turned and grabbed a glass from the cupboard. "Chris, sweetie, I know it's been hard these last three and a half years, but we have to be strong." She unscrewed the lid on the orange juice and poured some into the glass. "I just don't want you to give up honey." Mom came around the table and rubbed his shoulder gently. She offered him the glass.
Who said I was giving up? I just don't wanna be around those jerks anymore. They don't even give me a chance. Chris was seething. How could his mother think he was giving up; just because he wasn't playing basketball anymore? He still did all his school work and got A's in all his classes. What more did she want from him? What, do you want me to be a star athlete too? It's just not fair!
Chris angrily swatted away the glass and bolted up from his chair. The glass fell on the floor and shattered into a million pieces, orange juice spilling all over the place.
"What the hell do you want from me mom? I'm trying as hard as I can! You want me to be some sort of super star too? Just leave me the hell alone!" Chris shouted at his mother at the top of his lungs.
Breathing hard and balling his hands into fists, Chris looked at mother's face. She looked petrified. Her eyes began welling up with tears. Chris felt a wave of panic slam into him. What had he just done? Chris looked down at the broken glass. On one of the shards he could distinctly see printed letters.
`Tau-Alpfa-phi'. It was dad's fraternity glass. He had broken one of father's favorite glasses? How could this have happened?
Chris burst into tears and ran despairingly from the kitchen and crawled onto the living room couch. He curled into a little ball and cried his eyes out.
How can I be this stupid? That glass was one of the last memories they had of father. Now it was broken.
Chris heard his mother in the kitchen. She was weeping quietly. How could I do this to her? She didn't deserve that. She shouldn't have to put up with me. I'm such a horrible son. I've let you down again dad. I'm such a retard.
Chris got up from the couch in a fit of rage and went over to the front door. He slammed his feet in his sneakers and jerked the door open. Without looking back, he took off like a bolt of lighting down the driveway. He made a hard left past the mailbox and ran down the Cherry Street sidewalk, tee shirt and shorts billowing out in the wind.
Chris ran as hard as he could, and let his small legs take him as far as they could go. I'm going to make it up to you dad, I promise.
As Chris ran down Cherry Street, memories flooded through his head. Happy memories that he had kept buried for years.
It had been their second time up Soldier Mountain that summer. Chris had convinced father to take him up one last time before he started the 5th grade. The whole way up the trail, he had been excitedly bouncing by his father's side. He crossed whole streams in a single jump, and practically raced up steep inclines and around hills. He remembered having to wait impatiently for dad to catch up, but he never was angry. Dad always had a big smile on his face when he finally caught up to him.
Once they had finally reached the top, Chris leaped up atop the highest rock and stared out all around him in wonder. His face was lit with joy.
"I'm so proud of you Chris, you did it! You reached the top. Promise me Chris, that you will never forget how it feels to get to the top." Father said in a voice filled with love.
"I promise daddy, you're the greatest. I wanna come here again and again. Let's come up here again next summer, ok?"
At the time, Chris didn't know what father had really meant, but that hadn't disturbed him. He had just kept staring out along the horizon in wonder, even when dad came up the rock next to him. That had been their last time on Soldier Mountain.
I'm so sorry dad, I did forget. I just couldn't do it again without you. Nothing is the same without you. I was so happy when you were here. Why did you leave me behind? All alone?
Chris was slammed back into reality when he saw that he had run to the hill above his school. How could I have run all that way?
Chris took several deep breaths, but realized that he wasn't even short of breath. Something was definitely odd!
He always came in last place in Mr. Ramsey's P.E. class. Whenever they ran the track, he was always left in the dust, not able to even match the slowest girl in class. Chris hated being so small, and he found himself sitting out more and more from Mr. Ramsey's activities. The kids teased him too. Unmercifully.
Roger was the worst. He had actually picked Chris up once and threw him in the dumpster. "Haha, you having trouble getting out of the dumpster, little Chrissie-wissie?" Roger wasn't alone, and all of his cronies laughed long and hard at his expense. He had tried to jump up and open the lid, but Roger was sitting on it. "He's so small he can't even get out of a dumpster!" Chris had been completely stuck until Roger got off. "What's wrong, does Chrissie-wissie want out now? I thought you liked dark places? You're always in that dark corner of the library reading those dumb books; I thought you'd be right at home in there."
Chris wanted to punch Roger in the nose, but he didn't dare. Roger and his friends were all much bigger than him, and it would only land him in the dumpster again.
I'm so tired of being such a runt. When am I going to grow up? I wish dad were here. Dad made me feel like I could do anything. I want to feel like that again.
Chris regressed from his memory, back to the hill. From this vantage point, he could easily see Pikes Peak to the south. Chris let his gaze wander north and spotted Soldier Mountain. Maybe it was time to keep that promise. He wanted to feel the joy of gaining the summit again.
Chris stretched his legs and took off running again. I better do this be before I end up chickening out!
Chris ran down the next hill, passing several more scattered houses on the road. I didn't forget my promise dad; I'm gunna climb a mountain again!
Nearing the bottom of the hill, Chris did not slow his pace, but quickened it, gaining as much momentum as he could for the next hill. He ran and ran, and it felt good! He felt as though he were filled with a new energy, now that he had a goal again. The wind blew through his hair and his clothes. I'm gunna do this and I won't let you down!
Chris crested another hill and ran down the road through a series of switchbacks, finally coming to a cul-de-sac at the bottom. He had finally made it to the trail head. He didn't waste any time looking at the map at the beginning of the trail, and just took off straight down it. Keeping his pace at a brisk walk, he followed the trail back and forth through groves of trees, bushes, and rock formations.
Chris kept up his pace through a large creek, jumping dexterously from one wet rock to the next. Thoughts of the last time he had been through here started to come into his mind unbidden. He remembered crossing through here when he was much younger; his father having to pick him up because he was too small to cross the wet stones himself. He remembered holding on tightly to his father as he leaped from stone to stone, finally reaching the safety of the other side.
Chris started climbing a steep hill and did not slow, determined not to let his newfound energy die out. He crossed several smaller streams as the trail dipped and rose, going around several more large hills that stood between himself and the base of Soldier Mountain. When thoughts of father started coming back to him again, he just walked faster, redoubling his focus on the winding trail.
Stay focused on the happy memories Chris. Like the first time we went up Pikes Peak.
Chris was only 6 years old when father decided to take the family up Pikes Peak at the beginning of the summer. His parents had gotten tickets for the Cog Railway and told him that the train went all the way to the top of Pikes Peak. At first he didn't believe that a railroad could go up the side of a mountain. But when he got on, the train was different from any other train he had ever seen.
Chris kept his eyes closed most of the way up, only taking a few quick glances at the hillsides. The train made it to the top without a hitch. Chris's father helped him out. There was a small loading station, shop, and viewing area. Chris didn't want to come off the train, he wanted to go right back down! His uneasiness was doubled as he looked out from the station. So high! He could see Colorado Springs and all of the tiny buildings downtown. He could see all the highways and roads, and the cars, like little marbles rolling down a ramp. Chris was very scared looking out for the first time.
"Chris, come on, don't be afraid. You're not going to fall, I've got a firm grip on you, I promise." Father's words comforted him a little and he decided to take another look, letting his eyes view the open expanse.
"Can you see Colorado Springs from here son?" Father asked soothingly, leading him through the small crowd over to a viewer on the east side of the viewing area. Father lifted Chris up so he could see through the viewer.
"What's that over there daddy?" Chris timidly asked, pointing out to the northeast at what looked like a bunch of little white rocks stacked on top of each other.
"That's the Garden of the Gods." Father asked sympathetically. Chris continued looking on in wonder.
"Chris, how are you feeling?" Father asked with a look of concern.
Chris pulled his gaze away from the viewfinder and remembered how scared he was when he first got off the train, but his father's love and reassurance had made him forget his previous anxiety.
"This is so cool daddy, I'm not scared anymore. I wanna come up here again tomorrow! Can we dad? Can we?" Chris was jumping up and down, as excited as any normal 6 year old would be at seeing such wonders.
"Your fear of heights has vanished already? I'm so proud of you." Father said lovingly. Chris ran up and jumped in his Fathers arms, his smile as wide as the Amazon.
"Thank you for bringing me up here daddy, you're the greatest dad ever!" Chris said, giving father another big hug.
Chris's happiness and love for his father had been so great that something sparked inside of him, and there was a bright flash of light. The light had practically blinded father, and caused him to drop Chris and stagger backwards a few paces. Just as quickly, the light dimmed, as if it never was.
Chris tried to remember if that light had come from him, but that detail was too foggy in his mind. A few minutes after the flash, mother acted like nothing unnatural had happened, but father's eyes stayed locked onto him, and he drew him into another tight hug.
"You are my bright shining star Chris, and you can do anything you put your mind and heart into. Be strong Chris, and don't give up. No matter what I will love you forever and ever!" Father spoke with the strangest look of comprehension on his face.
That memory, more than anything, reminded Chris how much his father had loved him. Chris used that memory to fuel his steps. He broke into a jog, and then a run. He literally flew across the trail, making a pace that even a seasoned runner would find hard to follow. Leaves and branches were caught up in his passing, and dust was raised from the trail.
Dad believed in me. He truly thought I was special. I can't let him down.
Running frighteningly fast down the trail, Chris tried to remind himself of all the good things there was about him. He kept his grades up, even though he wasn't climbing mountains or playing basketball anymore. Mother might not have approved of the amount of time he spent reading, but it kept him from falling too deeply into the pits of despair. He had probably read more than anyone else in his class. All the characters in all the stories he read might have some sort of weakness, but they all managed to overcome them, and be a hero. He knew he was no hero, but if he could stay determined, he would succeed.
I've gotta keep hope. I got to stay confident. Dad loves me, even if he isn't here anymore. I know I'm no hero, but wherever you are dad, I'm gunna make you proud!
Chris yanked his thoughts back into reality. He had made it to the base of Soldier Mountain. He staggered over to a rock and plopped down, bent over, and took several deep breaths. This time sweat was pouring off the sides of his face. He wasn't sure how fast he had run, but he defiantly felt weird about it. That unknown energy had somehow fueled his steps. A worried look crossed his face as he stared back at the trail he had run down. He had actually kicked up a lot of dust and dirt in his passing. He just knew that couldn't be normal.
What the heck is happening to me? I gotta be imagining things, that's it. If only dad was here. He would know.
Chris shook his head. Keeping his resolve firm, he looked up at the face of Soldier Mountain.
Well, if I'm gunna climb this thing; I might as well face it straight on!
Typically, Chris and his father took the trail, which went around the base of the mountain, and then up the back. The trail around back was a much easier climb than going directly to the face from here, but his new determination convinced him to try the hard way. He was going to make his father proud!
Chris looked back up at the face of the mountain. It looked very high from here. If he was going to climb directly up the face, he would first have to climb a pretty steep slope to get to the mammoth rock face. Refreshed now from his mad sprint down the trail, he stood up, stretched his arms out into the sky, then did a couple torso twists.
Time to see what I'm truly made of!
Chris set a steady pace up the steep slope. Sometimes he had to use his hands, or find a good foothold that wasn't on loose ground. He climbed around a large boulder half the size of his house, and went up a series of rocks, stair stepping himself up. Coming around the huge boulder, he could see at least four more like it that he would have to climb between. He decided to go straight up the face of the next boulder. Beginning slowly, he sought handholds that would have never held the weight of a full grown man.
I can do this, all's I have to do is put my mind and heart into it! Chris thought to himself, climbing higher and higher.
The boulder started to round off, and he was able to pull himself up over the side, swinging his legs around.
"Half way there, whew!" Chris breathed out loud.
He scrambled up the next set of rocks, climbing hand over hand to the next ledge. A couple more twists and turns brought him up to the last run to the rock face. In front of him were the last two boulders. They went straight up, with no hand holds. He would have to inch his way up between the two boulders, in a narrow one and half foot opening. Taking his time, he used his back and his legs to caterpillar himself up to the top. Back pressed against one boulder, feet planted firmly across from him, he thought about how goofy he must look in that position. When he could feel the top edge behind him, he propped his hands up and pushed his feet off the other boulder, and back flipped over the edge and landed squarely on his feet.
"I wouldn't want to fall down that!" Chris thought out loud, looking back down from his perch at the top.
After that, it was an easy climb to the face of Soldier Mountain. Once Chris got there, and looked up at it, he began to second guess himself.
"Can I really do this? I have never really climbed anything like this before." Chris examined the face of the mountain very carefully.
"If I climb to that ledge there, then I can sidestep over to that gap over there. That should take me up to the ledge way up there, which looks like it has footholds up to the top. I just hope I have a long enough reach..." After a pause of consideration. "Ok, here goes nothin!" Chris announced, wiping the sweat off his brow. He pumped himself up for the climb of his life.
Chris started slowly, steadily gaining altitude against the straight rock face. Handholds weren't too hard to find as he climbed higher and higher. He kept his mind clear, and focused on the rock in front of him. Soon he made it up to the ledge, 50 feet up. Even though the ledge was only five inches wide, it felt good to be on a little firm ground. Taking another deep breath, he started sidestepping over to the gap.
The gap was an easy climb. Chris used some of the same techniques he used earlier to climb between the boulders. Not loosing concentration for a second, he made it to the second ledge, only three inches wide this time. It was over a hundred feet down. He told himself not to look.
"Remain confident! You won't fall Chris, you won't fall!" Chris told himself. Starting off again, he sought handholds up the sheer rock face. This was definitely the hardest part of the climb.
"I am going to get up this mountain dad!" I'm gunna get up it no matter how hard it is!
"I can do anything I put my mind and heart into; I am like a spider on the rock face!" Although Chris didn't notice, his eyes started to glow a faint blue.
"Light as a feather, light as a feather!" He could feel that strange energy inside him give him the extra boost he needed.
The hand holds were beginning to get farther apart, but Chris was like a little Spiderman, with his arms and legs spread across the rock. Further and further he climbed, latching on to notches barely visible. Climbing the un-climbable.
"I can DO this!" Chris's hold was very tenuous now. His progress was beginning to slow considerably.
"Come on! There HAS to be another handhold here somewhere!" Chris's glowing eyes were searching for the smallest notch he could use to pull himself up just a little bit further.
"AH!" Chris exclaimed, and pulled himself up.
Chris's concentration on the mountain was so intense, that he didn't even feel the wind begin to pick up around him. His shirt and shorts billowed out behind him, while his front stayed planted firmly up against the sheer rock wall. During his slow assent up the last stretch, clouds had begun gathering around the mountain. If he had been paying attention, he would have noticed something was `wrong' with those clouds, but he was way too focused on his present situation. The clouds got darker as a storm begin to gather, kicking up wind into his face.
Looking up, Chris could see the edge. It was only 10 feet away! Just a couple more notches! The next notch seemed impossible to reach, but Chris managed to grab it somehow, eyes glowing just a little bit brighter.
"I gotta make it to the top! I'm almost there!" Chris screamed out loud.
Then it started raining. A light spray at first began to turn into a harsh downpour. The rock around him dampened, and Chris began to feel himself slipping, loosing what little hold he had on the rock in front of him.
The rain was pouring buckets now, but Chris still managed to gain a few more handholds. Eyes glowing fiercely, he reached one hand, and then the other up to the lip of the rock face.
"I did it dad! I made it! I am your bright shining star! I kept my promise dad, I reached the top again!" Chris shouted out with all his love into the stormy sky.
The sky lit up with a bolt of lightning, and seconds later, Chris felt a jolt. A spray of dust and pebbles came down at him. His right hand came free and his feet slipped. Dangling by one hand on the edge of the cliff, he tried to reach his right hand back to the edge, but it was just too far. Slowly, finger by finger, he lost his grip on the slick rock.
Seemingly in infinitely slow motion, Chris fell. Desperately, he clawed the side of the mountain as he plummeted further down the rock face, but to no avail.
Holy crap, what am I going to do? I've got to think... I gotta concentrate!
Chris could feel the air rushing up around him. He could feel the rain soaking into his clothes and into his skin. Panic was gripping every muscle in his body, causing him to freeze up. He tried to dull his senses, focus on the air around him. He shut his eyes tightly and concentrated hard!
I am dad's bright shining star; I can do anything I put my mind and heart into. I'm light as a feather, and I will not fall. I am your bright shining star, and I LOVE YOU!
A deep feeling flared in the pit of Chris's stomach, and the energy inside him swirled to life and ran all throughout his body. His bright glowing blue eyes snapped open. His swift descent began to slow considerably, and the up rushing wind began to die down. He came to a complete stop a bare five feet from the bottom of the rock face!
Hovering there, Chris looked down in utter astonishment. The ground, and even the rock face seemed to have a very faint, eerie glow to it. He managed to turn himself around in midair and stare out into the wilderness. Trees everywhere were glowing a strange shade of orange, and the ground had a mysterious brown-orange tinge to it. Although it was hard to see it at first, the very air itself was glowing a feint light blue. He couldn't explain it, but somehow the energy inside him was linked to the light-blue glow, and was actually pulling more in.
Eyes still glowing bright blue, Chris looked up to the clouds. They were dissipating rapidly, and then the rain stopped abruptly. He could also sense a strange feeling coming from the clouds too, but he had no clue what it meant. The moment he thought about what the clouds might mean, the gleam in his eyes flicked out. He fell the reaming five feet, hitting the ground hard on his butt with a `thud', causing the air to rush out of his lungs. He balled over and just lay there for a while, rubbing his sore behind.
"What the heck happened? Was I really floating?" Chris questioned himself.
More importantly, Chris realized, he was alive! He stood up on wobbly legs and brushed himself off. It had definitely rained, because he was soaked to the bone. His tee shirt stuck to his chest, and his shorts were bunched up between his legs, also wet. His legs were all scratched up, along with his arms. His fingers were scratched up, and his palms had several shallow cuts.
While Chris had been `floating' there, he hadn't felt any pain at all, none. He did notice that he was a lot more tired than he had been before though, maybe it was just from the exertion of such a long climb?
"Can I float again?" He asked himself, still disbelieving.
"Well, what's the harm in trying?" Chris began to concentrate.
He tried to clear his mind, and really focus. "Light as a feather, I can do anything I put my mind and heart into!" Chris's eyes began to glow faintly, and he felt that energy stir in his chest, but nothing happened.
"Cm'on, light as a feather, light as a feather!" The faint glow was still there, but still nothing happened.
Chris stretched out on his tip-toes, and even jumped in the air, although his legs ached when he landed.
"Uhhh. Ouch! I guess I'm just too tired." Chris WAS tired, and he noticed that the glow coming from the air had disappeared, and so had his link with it. Whatever he had done, he couldn't do it again, at least not now.
What had really happened? Had his father saved him? That had to be it.
Dad is watching over me! Dad is still here with me. He still loves me.
"I promise I will try to be strong from now on dad. You saved me, and I will not let you down." Tears were streaming down the sides of his face. Happy tears this time. Daddy had saved his special Chris.
Slowly, Chris took the easy way down the mountain, trying to avoid any spots requiring any serious climbing. He reached the base of Soldier Mountain without too much struggle. He had no intention of running home either. It would be a nice slow walk for him.
Chris also noticed something else strange, the ground around him wasn't even wet, and yet it had dumped on him. His clothes were still damp, but there wasn't even a cloud in the sky anymore, and the wind had completely died off, letting the sun beat down on him, uninhibited.
Very perplexed, Chris kept walking, getting more tired with every step he took.
Father had saved him, and now Chris was determined to face life with a new mindset.