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Fantasy Writers

Stories and Fantasies

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  • #131406
    Rebekah12
    @rebekah12

    Okay, Chapter 1, version 2 (or is that draft 2? idk)!

    There may be a few typos; I finished this like a few minutes ago, so just beware 🙂

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Arise

    Part One: Six Special Ones

    Chapter 1

     

    Jendar was sitting on one of many log benches surrounding the fire. His nieces, nephews, and children were gathered all around him, some upon other benches, and others on the ground. Every one of them was held, spellbound, by his deep, rich voice.

    Kaleiva sat at the end of a log near him, and in her lap was sitting Mendia, who was her cousin, as well as Jendar’s young daughter. At her feet sat Mendia’s slightly-older brother, Kaldir, and beside him was Kaleiva’s twin, Culvin, with whom her little sister Enara was sitting.

    Their uncle’s tannish face, as well as his dark brown hair, was illuminated in dancing orange, and his brown eyes looked deep, mysterious, in the flickering firelight.

    At the other side of the fire sat the Kaleiva’s parents, Jendar’s wife Naryn, and Uncle Urvins, who was the only uncle as of yet unmarried.

    Kaleiva’s father was speaking with Uncle Urvins about something to do with which fields ought to be plowed for planting, and her mother was trying to intervene in Jendar’s storytelling to the children because she didn’t quite approve of it, but Naryn was keeping in her way.

    Kaleiva returned her attention to her uncle, who was just beginning a new tale.

    “One hundred and fifty years ago,” said he, and Kaleiva knew at once which story it was, “in the days before the people inhabiting our Karon continent had yet resolved themselves into kingdoms, there came to our lands a great beast, a dragon. This dragon, called the Great Dragon by the scribes who record our histories, was unlike any other. It was no ordinary creature, incapable of both thought and speech, but instead was like to humans in both respects. Indeed, its mind was far superior to any man’s, and the Dragon quickly rose to power in Karon. It ruled the people with tyrannical force, and none dared oppose it. It demanded what it liked, and none dared refuse it.

    “Its form was long and serpentine, with a thin skull crowned with seven horns, interlocking all together until the seven points all emerged upon the top. Indeed, the final shape resembled a diadem of the wilderness. Its scales were red, only a shade less vibrant than a man’s blood, and its eyes yellow and reptilian. It had six legs along its thin and snakelike body, and for each set of legs there was upon its back a pair of wings, and each set of wings was reduced to stumps before its coming.

    “From whence came the beast and how, none can say, then or now, and indeed the mystery may well remain long into the future, if its answer is ever found.

    “For fifty long years it ruled over Karon, until, at last, the beast decided that there remained still one thing it wanted that it did not have.

    “And so the Dragon said to the people, ‘Bring me a maiden, the best you can find on this my island, and deliver her to me on the Blood Moon’s eve.’

    “The people did not dare to disobey, and so they chose for it, from every maiden upon the island of Shul, a young girl called Trynna.

    “Trynna was an orphan, but she was not alone. She had been cared for all her life by her elder brother, whose name was Akrios, and when he heard of what she had been chosen for, he resolved to fight for her.

    “He did not dare to speak to anyone on Shul of his intentions, not even Trynna, and hoping to find sympathetic ears elsewhere, Akrios found passage on a ship to Karon’s main continent, making his way to the territory that would eventually become the kingdom of Mardem.

    “But there the people he met only looked at his ragged appearance, and passed him by. Of those few who listened to his words, all thought him a madman, a lunatic, and left him by the roadside.

    “Days passed, and as the eve of the Blood Moon drew nearer, Akrios began to fear that he would not find one who would help him in time.

    “It was at this time that, in a small wooden skiff outfitted with a sail, there came, from across the Western Ocean, a young traveler. She showed her face to no one, and covered herself in a ragged brown cloak.

    “She found Akrios pleading for someone to help him save his sister. Distraught, having failed yet again, he had given up all hope, and it was then that the traveler came to him.

    “‘I will help you,’ she said to him, before he had yet spoken a word to her. ‘Only tell me where the Wyrm dwells.’

    “‘On the island of Shul,’ he answered her, ‘two days’ sail from the harbor if the wind is good.’

    “To the harbor the two of them went, and found passage upon a small merchant vessel ready to leave.

    “Across the strait the ship flew, like a bird upon the waves. A favorable wind was at her back, but in the predawn hours of the second day, a storm broke upon them.

    “This supposed delay was of no consequence, for even as dawn broke upon the world, the storm lifted, and the ship moved quietly through the silver mists into harbor.

    “Akrios and his companion journeyed quickly to the island’s opposite end, taking well-groomed but seldom-traveled roads directing towards the Dragon’s cave. At last, they reached it.

    “It was a cave both large and long, nestled within a valley surrounded by green hills rather than forbidding mountain peaks. Into this valley Akrios went alone, hoping to try to reason with the beast, his companion remaining upon one of the hills to watch the proceedings.

    “Akrios’ words might as well have been spoken to the wind for all the good they did. Indeed, the Dragon’s only response was a bored attempt dispatch him with its tail.

    “In anger the youth threw all caution to the breeze, and drawing his sword, hacked into the Dragon’s leg, but his blade glanced off of the crimson scales.

    “The Dragon gave a shriek not of pain but of fury, and with no trouble at all, it pinned Akrios to the ground with its talons, and throwing back its head, prepared its flames.

    “But before it could unleash them, the cloaked traveler upon the hill cried out to it, ‘Turn away, wyrm of malice, and lay your eyes to me.’

    “The Dragon whirled around, and left Akrios where he lay. ‘It is impossible!’ the beast cried. ‘Her line is gone, her race unmade!’

    “The traveler shed her cloak, casting it aside. Her eyes were as the night sky, and wreathed in the likeness of flames, and her hair was a reflection of them. She was a young maiden, no older than Akrios himself, and her skin pale. Looking into the Dragon’s eyes, she said, ‘My people are not gone. While one yet remains, there is still hope for all.’ She reached up, and closed her fingers around a small pendant that had hung beneath the neckline of her slim and ragged dress. ‘My brother took your wings, Wyrm. My mother drove you from the villages. I watched her slaughtered by the Fallenwing Arynommel and Selena Blackmoon, elven sorceress, who command you.’ The girl stood still taller, straightening, and raising her hands. ‘You have tormented these people long enough, foul beast.’

    “The girl leapt from the hilltop, a bluish smoke swirling around her until she could no longer be seen. Then from the smoke two wings with feathers aflame sprung out, then from the fading colored smog dove a great bird of prey, slim and streamline, each feather flaming, and the eyes flaring like stoked embers.

    “‘The Stone was lost at the death of its wielder!’ cried the Dragon. Then the great fire-bird swooped down upon it, and struck it down.

    “As the beast lay dying, smoke again swirled around the bird, and when it faded, only the maiden, small compared to the enormous creature before her, remained.

    “‘I shall return, Daughter of Illyara,’ rasped the dying Dragon, ‘and you will not be there to stop me.’

    “‘I will not need to be,’ replied the girl, her eyes flashing, ‘for there will be others to stand in my place.’

    “Thus died the Great Dragon, tormentor of the people of Karon. Freed from its control, the people soon resolved their groups into the Five Kingdoms — the Shullers, in Shul; the Marvs, in Mardem; the Silvyns, in Silvun; the Chivs (shivs), in Chivall (shiv-all); and the Uldorians, in Uldor. Akrios was crowned King of Shul in his eighteenth year, but the girl who had slain the Dragon remained only long enough to attend his coronation. Then she left Karon, journeying once more to her land beyond the sea. She was never seen again.

    “For ninety years, all was peace. It was then that the disturbances came. Uldor and Chivall, the northernmost of the Five Kingdoms, grew suspicious and began to feel threatened by the other three kingdoms, and banded together. The youngest of the Chiv princes nicknamed the two of them the Duallies, and the name stuck. Made nervous by this new development, the remaining three kingdoms banded together into the Triforces, and believing their suspicions confirmed, a battalion of soldiers from Uldor and a squadron of Gryphonriders from Chivall were sent to Mardem. There, they burned and plundered the first village they came upon. The inhabitants they brought back to their respective kingdoms, and those who escaped came to K’arthen, Mardem’s capital city, demanding that King Rynar visit justice upon the invaders. With that, the war was begun.

    “The kingdoms mustered their armies for ba—”

    “That’s quite enough, Jendar,” Kaleiva’s mother interrupted. “Do you want the children dreaming about man-eating dragons and bloody wars tonight?”

    Kaleiva blinked, and it took her a moment to remember where she was. She’d been so spellbound by the story, narrated in her uncle’s rich and haunting voice, that she’d forgotten. . . well. . . everything. The only Karon that had seemed to matter was one of years long past, a dark world ruled by a great dragon, the Great Dragon, a world in which Shul’s first king, the heroic Akrios, had been an orphan beggar boy, and a mysterious shape-changing girl had come from across the Western Sea, which yet remained uncrossed by the people of Karon.

    But that was long ago. Now Karon was a war-torn continent — well, at least it would be if the war kept on much longer — and its people trying to scrape their lives back together from the dust, ashes, and rubble.

    Again, Kaleiva forced her mind back into the real world.

    Her mother was telling them to go to bed, and Naryn was trying to explain to her that a story every once in a while wasn’t going to do any harm to developing minds.

    Mendia climbed off of her lap, but Kaleiva hesitated to stand.

    “Uncle Jendar?” she asked, interrupting her mother and aunt.

    Her uncle smiled at her. “Yes, Kaley?”

    “I was wondering. . .” Kaleiva bit her lip, trying to figure out whether or not to ask her question. Finally, she decided yes. “When you tell the story, why do you never say the girl’s name? She must have had a name. What was it?”

    “No one knew that but Akrios, Kaleiva,” Jendar answered, “and he never told a soul as long as he lived.”

    “Oh. Okay.” Kaleiva stood, brushing a lock of dark hair out of her face. “Sorry to bother you.” Culvin passed her Enara, then the two of them headed back to the farmhouse.

    “Pretty sure I could’ve told you that if you’d asked me, Kaley,” Culvin said to her.

    Kaleiva shoved him with her free hand. “Oh, shut up.”

    Culvin grinned. “Got you.”

    “Are you joking right now?” Kaleiva set Enara down on the ground, and seeing her, Culvin started to run. Kaleiva tore off her brother while Enara stood in the damp grass, watching her older siblings with her head cocked. Then she shrugged her little shoulders and started toward the farmhouse on her own.

    “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.” -- Nick Fury

    #131781
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @mischievousthwapling, HIIIITHANKSLOVEYOU!!!! *bowls over with hug*

    Me *catching up with everybody’s posts in one day despite my common sense* *me reaching @melancholicwriter’s expecting luxurious prose with a hint at upcoming action*

    When I stepped into the room, fashionably late as usual, I first laid eyes on what I thought to be the hottest guy ever created.

    *me chokes on the Algebra I was supposed to be doing! (still made an A btw*is super smug about that XD*)* Wow I didn’t expect that lol! I read through the whole thing and got whiplash, in a good way! I think if you had halted to describe everybody my eyes would’ve glazed over at “cheesy romance” but that was good especially the “and there was no Bible distance apart” like that captures the whole off-ness of the situation so well. *pls make him a super villain pls pls…ooh or he could be a red-herring mwahahah so much train-wreck potential erhm XDXDXD*
    *me; skimming over all the rest of the page. Me;…
    Wait…so this isn’t gonna be a trainwreck? (*is not a particularly ‘romantic’ romantic person. Is more of a Mr Darcy ‘sorry I grilled you while trying to propose to you’ sorta romantic person*)
    (actually it was the perfect pace for me XD)
    Me; *likes really snappy/punchy styles and thriller/action/adventure* I thought it was real voicey and fun to read…

    I also can’t wait to see what happens next in your’s @rebekah12 it looks set up for so much action! And your style is so scrumptious @skylarynn it seems like kinda a new genre for me your’s and @emma-walker’s stories have a more ‘romantic’ prose than I usually read and the concepts are fascinating!

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    #131792
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Thank you so much!  Though I must say, scrumptious is a new one.  I usually get told it’s vivid or descriptive.  And since you said something, here’s more!

    ~*~

    It was a dark mottled grey lurking in the shadow of the donjon.  One leathery wing was unfurled in the sunlight.  In size it was perhaps smaller than expected, though still double that of a battle charger.

    Nadia couldn’t help but pause a moment and stare.  It was difficult to tell much from this distance but the wyvern did not seem to be standing erect as she had expected.  Far from it.  The saurian appeared slumped against the donjon, leaning heavily with its shoulder on the stone as its tail trailed limply down the masonry.  It looked tired.  Worn.  She imagined it had traveled a long and wearying journey to get here.  A harrowing experience, travelling through the day to avoid other wyverns that might prey on it, hiding in narrow crevices and stony gulleys at night.  Cold, bitter nights, shivering and alone.  Wondering if this was the night others would catch the scent of blood on the wind and ravenously descend upon it.

    A shrill, shrieking scream tore across the sky.

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #131827
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    In what I am thinking right now, he is going to probably be a bad guy…he is from a different world and comes to earth, finds her, and takes her back (her being there happens in the second part I put) she will meet him but not remember who he is…we find he’s a villain and voila i don’t know the rest

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #131829
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    @this-is-not-an-alien thanks!

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #131833
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    Hey y’all! Here what I believe is the fourth snippet of Esthelle’s Story. (btw that’s not the actual title, I’ve just yet to come up with a fitting one)
    ———-

    To her surprise all four had been in her wagon. The perfect one, the plain one, and the two sisters were her roommates. The younger of the sisters was still crying.

    At first there was only silence. Each sat on their own bed, except the sisters who were to share.

    Esthelle had still clung to her market basket during the whole ordeal, and she silently withdrew her book and began to read.

    The plain one sat on the edge of her bed polishing her glasses with a handkerchief.

    The pretty one reclined against a fluffy pillow and brushed her fingers through her long, dark hair.

    The two sisters were cuddled together, the older held the younger and was trying to sooth her, from whom one would hear a sniff every few seconds.

    Finally the plain one put her glasses on and looked around the room, then at her companions. She cleared her throat, then spoke, “maybe if we are to be together for the next few days, we should get to know one another better.” She suggested.

    Esthelle looked up from her book and exchanged a look with the pretty one. Then she glanced at the sisters before turning to her head to gaze at the plain one, who continued,

    “My name is Aillia.” She smiled slightly. “I’m from the commonside of Hazieln, and you can bet the king ain’t gonna choose me.”

    Esthelle smiled.

    The older sister looked over at Aillia, “I’m Rose, and this,” she gestured to her sister, “is Ava.”

    “Hello.” Aillia smiled and waved to Ava, who sniffed and pulled away from her sister. She smiled slightly but tears still streamed down her face.

    Esthelle closed her book and set it beside her. “I’m Esthelle…” she spoke quietly. Rose nodded and Aillia smiled, and all eyes turned to the pretty one.

    “I am Myla.” She said slowly. Her voice was smooth like honey, and rang slightly like a bell.

    “I don’t know about what the others think, Myla, but I believe that you will be chosen.”

    Myla shook her head, no.

    “You’re the prettiest of all of us.” Esthelle quietly added.

    “I disagree.”

    “Do you want to be chosen?” Rose asked.

    Myla smiled slightly, “I wouldn’t mind it.”

    Aillia giggled. “What about you, Rose?”

    Rose’s eyes widened. “I mustn’t! I dread even thinking it!”

    “Why?” Myla questioned.

    “I’m betrothed.” Rose replied. “I’d kill myself if I couldn’t be with my Spinscer.”

    Aillia nodded. “What about Ava?”

    Ava’s bottom lip quivered.

    Rose frowned, “When we were taken, we had been at home. I’m sixteen, so I fit the age limit, and I was pulled away by one guard.” She paused. “Another guard questioned further for Ava, and I turned to look back,” she paused again, “And all I heard was Ava shriek and all I saw was a guard rip her away from our parents.”

    Aillia gasped quietly and Myla clenched her jaw.

    Rose wiped away some tears in her eyes. “She didn’t want to be taken. She shouldn’t have been taken. Ava is only fourteen, that’s too young.”

    Esthelle and Myla both nodded in agreement.

    “How about you, Esthelle?” Myla turned to her.

    Esthelle shook her head, “I was perfectly content to be at home.”

    “Don’t you think you’d be content here, too? This is a palace, you’d be well provided for and could do anything you want.” Rose replied.

    “Or almost anything.” Aillia quipped.

    Esthelle shook her head, “I’m not pretty or high class, or anything really. I have no parents, but I have a library full of books. My books. And I have a cousin, she is dearer to me than any king or noble. I’m content with my way of life. I wouldn’t be here.” Esthelle explained. Her voice was soft in tone, but strong.

    Rose nodded.

    Just then a soft knock came from the door, and five young girl servants entered.

    The first one bowed and smiled, “Hello, we are to help in the preparations.”

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #131871
    Rebekah12
    @rebekah12

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Wow, thank you so much!


    @skylarynn

    Awwww poor wyvern. *hopes it doesn’t get killed or whatever*


    @emma-walker

    *sighs contentedly* Thank you. I needed that. I’ve been having kind of a stressful afternoon, and your new segment was very calming to read. Thank you.

    “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.” -- Nick Fury

    #131887
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    Thanks @rebekah12 glad it helped

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #131906
    Skylarynn
    @skylarynn

    @skylarynn Awwww poor wyvern. *hopes it doesn’t get killed or whatever*


    @rebekah12

    Well…

    ~*~

    Startled, Nadia only barely caught Ada’s arm as the girl tried to flee to the gate. The gypsy cast a glance back at the wyvern. It was rearing, flailing its rugged wings in an attempt to keep its balance. She could see now the lance protruding from its arching neck and the black blood flowing down the haft. Something panged within her at the sight and she looked away, eyes stinging. “We need go,” she said to Ada. Nadia began leading the girl firmly towards the keep, keeping her eyes downturned to watch only the ground in front of her. She flinched at every shriek and wail the wyvern cried.

    Let it be quick, she prayed. Let it be done and over with.

    As they neared the castle’s keep the pained thundering of the winged lizard grew louder and louder. Deafening roars of blinded rage echoed through the inner bailey, chorused by shouts and yells of the defending guardsmen. Then the wyvern gave one last thunderous, trumpeting bellow and the chains far above rattled.

    Nadia stopped. Looked. Lying still the wyvern sprawled prostrate onto the metal net above, one wing crumpled beneath its chest. The chains sagged under the weight of such a magnificent animal. Closer now, she could see the yellow eyes of the saurian wide and staring. They seemed to meet her gaze. Question her.

    A human cry cut through the silence that fell after the lizard’s demise. “Alexander!”

     

    "Remember, you go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you." - Rev. Peter R. Hale

    #132206
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @mischievous-thwapling,

    Will do! Don’t push yourself. 😉

    "Lacho calad! Drego morn!"

    #132208
    Joelle Stone
    @joelle-stone

    @skylarynn & @rebekah12,

    Critique coming later!

    "Lacho calad! Drego morn!"

    #132442
    Emma Walker
    @emma-walker

    Hello all! Late night-nesssss is happening tonight lol

    heres… part.. 5… I believe.

    If you are reading this and want me to tag you, please say the word and I will. 😉

    —————-

    They were given baths with special cologne and oils, and afterward the servants did their hair.

    Myla’s was long and straight and shined in the light, while Ava’s was curly and frizzy and hard to tame. Aillia’s was also long, wavy and well kept, and Rose was shorter with some curls, but better kept than her sister’s. Esthelle’s was thick and long, and the unusual dark red color brought out her blue eyes.

    They were given beautiful dresses that fit each of them perfectly, and the servants bowed and left the room to attend to another group.

    Rose walked around the room and twirled, watching her skirts flow around her. She smiled.

    Ava sat on their bed and watched her, an arm around the bedpost, still sniffing.

    Aillia giggled and joined Rose and the two waltzed around the room.

    Esthelle looked up from her book and smiled as they turned and stepped together, smiling and laughing. She was glad that they found a way to be happy in such a time as this one.

    Esthelle turned to look at Myla. She stood gazing out the window, looking to be a proper princess, Esthelle thought.

    Silently, she closed her book and stood, walking over to Myla.

    Myla looked at Esthelle a moment then turned back to the window. “Esthelle, you seem to be like a good friend to me..”

    Esthelle shrugged, “I promise I’ll try to resemble as much of a friend as I can…” She replied.

    Myla was silent for a while. “I don’t know what I’d do if I were not chosen.” She finally murmured.

    “Why…?” Esthelle whispered back.

    Myla glanced at the other girl’s, but they were still having a ball. She looked at Esthelle, “I was married before.”

    Esthelle’s eyes widened, and her friend continued. “My husband passed a few years ago, and his brother inherited the business. He takes care of me, but only because he loved his brother. He has never really cared for me.” She hugged herself, “It would be nice to feel loved, or wanted at least.” She murmured, looking back at the window.

    Esthelle nodded, she could sense the neglect and loneliness from Myla. “So you must be chosen.”

    “But I have a little boy…” Myla continued, using her hand to emphasize the word “little.” “How would the king treat a boy that’s not his son?”

    Esthelle shook her head, “I don’t know.” She placed a gentle hand on Myla’s shoulder, “Where is your boy?”

    “My husband’s brother will look after my Rashad.” Myla murmured.

    Esthelle smiled slightly, “you mustn’t worry.” She linked arms with her, “Come, let’s join in to get our minds off it.”

    As they passed the sisters’ bed, Esthelle smiled at Ava and gestured for the girl to come too.

    Ava sniffed and reluctantly stood, and Esthelle linked arms with her and led them over to the other two.

    Another knock sounded on the door and Esthelle linked Ava and Myla’s arms together and went to go answer it.

    She opened the door and relief flooded her eyes. “Mrodi!”

    Mrodi smiled slightly and entered the room. Esthelle closed the door behind her and turned, immediately hugging her cousin.

    Mrodi pulled away and held Esthelle’s hands as she gazed as her, “oh, Essie,” her blue eyes sparkled, “you look lovely,”

    Esthelle smiled, “So you heard?”

    Mrodi slowly nodded, “I believe you have a good chance of winning..”

    Esthelle shook her head enthusiastically, “But I don’t want to.”

    Her cousin gazed at her sympathetically and shrugged.

    By this time the other girls had stopped dancing and were watching.

    Esthelle turned to them and smiled slightly, “this is my cousin Mrodi.” She turned to her cousin, “this is Myla, Rose, Ava, and Aillia.”

    Mrodi gave them a nod and a smile, which were returned. Then she turned back to Esthelle, “I just came to check on you, I have to go to my post now.”

    Esthelle nodded, “please come again when you have more time..” she murmured.

    Mrodi nodded, “I will.”

    As she turned to go, Mrodi gave her cousin a warning look, and Esthelle nodded a silent promise. Mrodi returned the nod, then left, closing the door behind her.

    ————-

    "If your goal is purity in heart, be prepared to be thought very odd." -Elisabeth Elliott

    #132961
    MelancholicWriter
    @melancholicwriter

    @this-is-not-an-alien

    I have now dubbed the guy in the prologue of my book ‘Cathy’s Villain’. If you have an idea of what a fantasy name (first and last) that could be shortened into a ‘normal’ name it would be muchly appreciated. He’s all yours now  @this-is-not-an-alien 😝😜

    "Courage is found in unlikely places." JRR Tolkien

    #133033
    Rebekah12
    @rebekah12

    *finds typo in Chapter 1* 🤦🤦🤦🤦 holy snap that’s one messed-up typo XD

    I KNEW I shouldn’t have posted it right away!! And now I can’t edit the post. . . grrrrr. . . *edits it on my Google Doc and forces myself to be content with that*

    Anyways, Chapter 2! I don’t think there’ll be any typos in this, given the fact that I’ve been focusing on just this for like 20 minutes, but then again, I tend to overlook my typos, so consider yourself warned. 🙂

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Kaleiva set her mother’s sack and pail amid the tall, tannish-green grass of the field, then took the last paper package out, and unwrapped it. She stood beside Culvin, eating her pork and cheese slowly.

    “So. . . how’s everything going?” she asked after a moment.

    “Oh, the usual,” Culvin answered before taking a bite of his own lunch. He chewed slowly for a moment before swallowing and continuing, nodding toward the oxen as he did so. “The one that was a calf last year is a bit ornery, but that’s to be expected. Father’s stuck with that one, but then again, I suppose that’s to be expected too.”

    Kaleiva chuckled a little in spite of herself. “You’re funny.”

    Culvin grinned at her. “I guess I am.”

    Kaleiva snickered again, then paused, glancing first over her shoulder, then at the sack and pail at her feet. “Mother will be wanting these back.” She looked at her brother. “See you later, I guess.”

    She picked up her things, and turned to go. But before she could take a step. . .

    “Calf!” someone shouted, running into the crop fields, and away from the pastures. He sounded rather like her Uncle Urvins, and as he came into view, Kaleiva saw that it was indeed he. His large nose and bald head were unmistakable. “A calf’s loose!”

    “Where did it head?” Father shouted back.

    “It was heading for the forest, Leron!” Urvins called back, slowing his pace as he drew near. “I couldn’t catch it.”

    “Oh for goodness sakes. . .” Father rubbed his brows with a groan. Then he looked up, and his eyes fell on Kaleiva and Culvin. “Kaley, Culve, go after it. See if you can cut it off before it reaches the woods. If not, pursue it into the trees. Bring it back.”

    Kaleiva dropped her sack and pail, and with Culvin at her heels, took off running across the fields towards the gentle hill slope to the west, at the top of which began the forest.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>***</p>
    Culvin kicked a small stone that lay in his path, making it fly off into the trees ahead. Kaleiva, letting out a grunt of frustration, slapped at a mosquito that had landed on her arm.

    “Oh for goodness sakes,” she growled, “how far can one little calf possibly  get?!” She looked up at the sky, which could, on account of the leaves in the trees, barely be seen. The sun was sinking steadily towards the horizon, and the light would begin to fail soon, signaling the late afternoon hour, and the encroaching evening. “We’ve been trailing it for hours!”

    Culvin bent to inspect the ground, running his fingers along the earth and leaves with his brows knitted. “I think I lost the tracks, Kaley.”

    “You what?!” Kaleiva half-shouted, stopping to stand just in front of him.

    Culvin straightened, and looked around. “I don’t think we can find this thing by ourselves. We need to head back and ask Father and the others for help.”

    Kaleiva crossed her arms and groaned in frustration, then, more than a little reluctantly, she nodded. “I guess you’re right.”

    The twins trotted back through the trees, side-by-side.

    The trees had only just barely begun to thin out when both of them slowed.

    Kaleiva’s nose wrinkled a little, and she looked at Culvin, trying to bury a seed of worry in the dark recesses of her mind. “What’s. . . what’s that smell?”

    “I don’t know,” Culvin answered, his face equally perplexed.

    Then a fresh breeze blew from the direction they faced, the direction in which the village lay, and at once, the two knew at once what the thick stench was.

    “Smoke,” they said at the same moment, and then they both began to run for home.

    The remaining trees flashed by them in their mad dash, of no more consequence than mere blurs of dimming color. Kaleiva didn’t care about the substantial number of twigs and leaves that stuck themselves into her hair. She simply ran.

    They reached the edge of the forest, and skidded to a stop, unprepared for what they saw. Kaleiva felt her lips part as she reeled mentally. Her dark eyes were wide, and the scene before her was reflected in their centers, a scene she had hoped never to see, ever, as long as she lived.

    The village was ablaze.

    “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.” -- Nick Fury

    #133034
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    @melancholicwriter
    Lol thanks XD. I found two names with villain-meanings (who knew searching ‘evil names with meanings’ ‘villain names with meanings’ etc would come up with such crazy stuff like super-villain names that are just like ‘Black…Dark…uh…Blackness’ like dude don’t they know we have writers who want complex and unpronounceable names here!?!?!)
    There’s Baze which means ‘mean’ and could be normalified to Blaze or Deimos which means ‘dread’ which could be normalified to Damien other than that yeesh how hard is it to find a bad guy name that sounds totally terrifying?! Rob’s always a fun name for bad guys.

    *skims over all the other posts*

    ahhh poor wyvern!

    *skims farther*

    NO: ahhhh poor Kaleiva!!!

    *reads @emma-walker’s* ahhh you babies are still safe XD

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

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