Red Lettering

Stories will not be written easily. A story without a heart is dead, and the only place it will get a heart is from the author.

Writing Prompt: 02-27-2015

Origin“Before the Departure,” by LAS-T on DeviantArt. I know neither the artist, nor any other work by this artist, so beware if you decide to look them up.

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6 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: 02-27-2015

  1. It is a risky thing for the Master to put me on the watch. I have shared the job with the common soldiers since the exile began, and ten years later I still dread it. I am alone with my thoughts, and my thoughts always return to the day I left him. The brittle winter grass, tussled by the wind, makes a sound like his ragged breathing as he tried to hold in his tears. And now I hear him begging me not to go. Not to go to war and never return like Father had. Not to be taken away by the people of Stonemound like Mother had.
    “Be brave, Ken-Yi-Kin. It’s my duty to keep Goldhall safe, to keep you safe. I’ll come back.” I had told him. If only I had told him more; that I love him, that I’m proud of him. But my last words were a promise I could not keep.
    A flash of white jerks me out of the memories. Someone crouches in the grass whipping a cloth through the air. One of the Rovelings. I hunker further behind the rocks, out of anger rather than fear. The Rovelings may be known for their stealth, but it was my own carelessness that allowed this one to come so far. It was also the Rovelings, under the direction of the Master of Stonemound, who took Goldhall; forcing out the Master of Goldhall and making the remaining people, Ken-Yi included, slaves. I wind my way around the rocks and into the caves, running past the remnants of Goldhall’s army to the deepest part of the cave were the Master sits.
    “Master, one of the Rovelings stands out in the field. They wave the white banner.”
    ***
    Despite my objections, the Master decides to honour the white banner. He and I ride to where the Roamling still stands alone. As we approach she falls on her knees and raises her hands.
    “Ah mean nay ‘arm! Please, the Roveling Chief begs that ye meet ‘im wi’ peace!”
    Our language is almost unrecognisable with her thick accent, but I still manage to hear what sounds like apology and even desperation in her voice. My eyes narrow and I wonder what trick she is trying to pull. The Master bows regardless.
    “And so we will, as long as your chief meets us with peace as well.” He motions to me.
    “You may ride with my Cavalry Colonel, and give directions.”
    I slowly twist the reins as the Roamling climbs up behind me. The muscles in my back are tight the whole way to the Roamling camp. The chief steps out of his tent and makes a reverent sign with his hands.
    “Greetings, Master of Goldhall!”
    My sword arm flexes, and I wonder how he dares mock my master in such a way. Then the chief speaks again and my anger is suddenly replaced with shock.
    “We have a proposition for you. Goldhall will be returned to you with all honour, if you join us to break the Stonemound Master’s yoke.”
    ***
    So it comes to be that the inconceivable happens, and I find myself preparing to fight not against the Roamlings, but with them. Separately our armies were inconsequential, but combined we surround Stonemound. I notice a young Roamling archer keeps glancing my way. He wears a circlet over his helmet. I ignore him and look straight ahead, waiting for the signal. Finally, with a great clamour the gates to Stonemound fall away and there is the thunder of drums. I raise my sword in signal and lead the cavalry over the downed gates into the city. The streets fill with the tangle of soldiers; Stonemound, Goldhall, and the Roamlings. I push the cavalry through, my focus on the Stonemound hall. Then out of the corner of my eye I glimpse the swing of a mace.
    ***
    The first thing I am aware of is the cold, damp feel of the cobblestones. I try to pick myself up, but find it is too great a struggle. The most I can do is turn my head to see whose flag flies over Stonemound Hall. High and proud waves the Goldhall banner, with the Roamling banner right beside it. Victory. How I wish I had seen it. Though my vision is clouded, I notice someone is walking through the carnage, stopping to bend over each fallen soldier. I try to call out to him, and it is a wonder that he hears me. As he rushes forward I notice with some disappointment that he is the young Roamling archer and princeling.
    “Where is the Master of Goldhall?” I ask with effort. The Roamling does not answer; his eyes grow large and white.
    “Jae! Jae-Si-Kin!” he gasps. It is a voice I have not heard before, and still I know it.
    “Ken-yi! Oh, Ken-yi, my brother!”
    He removes his helmet, and I amazed at the change ten years can make. He reaches for my helmet, but stops when he sees how it is broken. His hand drops back to his side. We both know it won’t be much longer. Ken-yi lowers his head.
    “Forgive me.” He whispers.
    “What for?” I cannot think of a thing that requires my forgiveness. I can, however, think of many things that require his.
    “For this,” Ken-yi rips the circlet off his helmet and tosses it aside.
    “For abandoning my family name and honour! I know how angry you are with the Roamlings, and now you find me one of them. I didn’t know that you had survived the invasion all those years ago…so when the Roamling Chief treated me kindly and offered to take me in…I…”
    His words come out fragmented, and though his eyes are tightly shut the tears run freely down his cheeks. I realise he is just as devastated and scared as the day I left him. My limbs have never been so heavy, and every move is pain, but I manage to put a hand on his arm.
    “Ken-yi-ken, there is nothing at all to forgive. I am so proud of you, my brave and beloved brother.”
    Then, after waiting so many years to see it, I watch as a corner of his mouth lifts. It is a small and trembling gesture, but I know by the light in his eyes that it is real. I try to do the same, but I have no more strength, even for that.
    A trumpet calls, a clear summoning terrible and beautiful; and like a comet, I answer it.

  2. Bill Lee on said:

    /This is a snippet of before a story that I am planing on writing. so enjoy/

    Dragons of all shapes and sizes flooded the sky, all flying
    toward the west. One dragon remand on the ground, waiting. Another dragon ran up panting.
    “Kitra!” the young dragon yelled at the top of her lungs, before falling into Kitra arms and sobbing.
    “They told me you were leaving” she sobbed “is it true.”
    ”yes” Katra said close to tears herself.
    “I brought some thing for you” Mya said pulling something out of her shirt.
    Katra gasped “were did you find /that/”
    “It was in your cave, just ware you left it”
    “Katra!” one of the other dragons shouted.” Its time to go”
    “Okay Vail.” She shouted back, she kissed Mya on the top of the head then quickly flew away.

  3. Elsabet on said:

    Shoni wanted to comfort Ellie, but she was wearing her armor, and she knew that cold, hard, sharp metal was anything but comforting. But the little girl needed to be held. “Hush, don’t cry so dearie.” Shoni said, picking up the cloth bear, abandoned on the ground. Ellie gave a sob and flung herself into Shoni’s arms. “Oh,” Shoni
    said, swallowing. “Hey, hey, shhh.” Placing her gauntleted hand awkwardly on the child’s back, she carefully stood. “Sir,” she said, catching the captain’s attention, “The child will ride with me.” For a moment he looked as if he would argue, but a fresh tear slid down Ellie’s cheek. He stepped forward and his face softened. He smiled and ran his clawed fingers gently through Ellie’s hair. “Aye, if you wish it.” “Thank you, sir.” Shoni turned and set Ellie into the saddle of her mount, then climbed up herself. “Why did they kill mum?” Ellie whispered. “Oh. Honey,” Shoni felt as if her heart would turn into ash. “The humans here fear the half-elves.” “Why?” “Because, in the old wars, the elves were ruthless killers. The humans cannot forget, and so we must suffer for the wrongs of our forefathers.

    • Elsabet on said:

      Oops, two adjectives in one sentence. Oh dear.

    • Ooh, I like this story. So many people these days have everyone hate the humans because they were the ruthless killers, and while you can find elves as those that people hate, it’s rare that they’re called a race of murderers.
      One thing I would suggest is line breaks wherever a new person starts talking. It’s less confusing, and easier on the eyes. 🙂 (Though, judging by your previous comments, you may be on a mobile device, and those things are most difficult to write on. :p)

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