a bullet through crowns (prologue)

The sign screamed 'New England Festival' in big, red letters.

Elliot had to tilt his head back to see it. A tug of his hand and a gentle "Come, Elliot" brought his attention back to the ticket booth. Smiling, the lady behind the counter waved at him as his mother led him to the crowds.

Nervously, Elliot sucked on the tip of his thumb. His mother was unusually subdued. Of his parents, his mother had been the one to feed and play with him, and read him bedtime stories. His father arrived sporadically in the night, often with a bittersweet aroma on his breath and cruel words on his tongue. Sometimes there was shouting, but he was too young to understand what it was about.

Before he could explore the courtyard, his mother stopped him. "Now, Elliot," his mother spoke, "mother has a very important call to make, so you will explore without me, understand?" Elliot nodded. "Good. Here are some coins for stalls," she continued. "When the sun starts to set, I will be here." She looked as though she would hug him, but her tangy perfume was too much for Elliot and he walked away, turning back and waving once he was amongst the crowd.

There were bountiful sights and sounds that could overwhelm a child of four. Undaunted, Elliot passed by the colourful stalls, stopping once he reached a stage with a projection on the wall.

"One thousand years ago, a New England was born out of the ashes of war," spoke the man in the projection. He stood at a podium, light flashing on his face from the throng of photographers below. Behind him was a row of red ribbon, shining and ready to be cut. Suddenly, the scene changed, and soldiers in metal armour aimed their guns at the sky. A shadow descended upon them, and a soldier dropped his gun. "A war forged by creatures of metal, a war created by the machines, and ultimately, by the intellect of men," the voice continued. "The survivors of this new era, marked as 0 NE, promised to decrease expenditure towards..." Elliot moved on.

For the rest of the day, he spent his coins on games—shooting various guns at cardboard cut-outs of war machines for prizes—and food—caramel drizzled over popcorn and hotdogs on sticks. He won a pendant with a central green gem by shooting the required number of rebels with a sniper rifle, and decided to give it to his mother as a surprise.

By the time he returned to the meeting place, the sun had already set. His mother was nowhere to be seen.

Elliot waited an hour. Then another. He noticed a group of beggars standing apart from the crowd, not far from where he was. They spoke excitedly, gesticulating with their calloused hands, although some of them turned around often to check for eavesdroppers. That's me, thought Elliot. He caught the word 'revolution'.

Night fell, and Elliot sat dry-mouthed and hungry at a bench nearby. "Are you alright, dear?" a couple called as they walked by, but they did not stop to hear his answer. Famished, he scavenged for food in stalls and managed to steal various fruits without getting caught.

She wasn't coming back.

The next morning, Elliot did not hear his mother call.

Instead, he woke up to the sound of an explosion.



I realised in my first post I had failed to establish a setting. Hence, a prologue was needed.

I am in fact planning to continue this story. No, I don't have a written plan (whenever I make plans I never end up doing the story) so I'm kind of freestyling it.

Part II is coming soon! Keep a crow eye out.




  1. love love love this. the descriptions are written out very clearly. can't wait for part 2 :)

    1. Thank you so much! It'll come soon, don't you worry :)