In comes the dawn, new beginings #writephoto


This is part two of a fictional tale about fairies, love and death… (for the first part, click here.)

 

The full moon was waning, and that meant a sacrifice needed to be made soon. But Tara and Sam continued to lay naked, wrapped in each others arms. For the first time in decades, they tried to ignore the harvest moon’s demand for blood. For the first time, they questioned the law of their kind.

They both stared at the moon, silently pleading for it to give them another choice. As forest fairies, there was one night, and one night only where they had to spill blood. Human blood was preferred over killing a fellow forest fairy, but either way, the harvest moon’s demand had to be filled. And tonight was that night. Yet, neither of them moved, unifying their protest.

Though they had just met earlier that day, and both had the original intention of killing each other, their feelings had changed. Their meeting had sparked something inside them. It had created a desire, laughter and hope they had not known. It was also the first time they had both met another forest fairy. Their kind had dramatically dwindled over the past century and they understood why. Fairies were generally kindhearted spirits. And many over the years, died from that fault. Some refused the adult law of the annual sacrifice, and became sacrifices themselves. Others were hunted, captured and tested on by the government in earlier years. Forced into hiding, these magical fairies slowly became  folklore and myths, and simply just started to disappear. But they were indeed real, and here two lay, denying the annual sacrifice and risking their own survival.

“We are running out of time,” whispered Tara.

“I know. I just keep thinking that there has to be another way.”

“Me too.”

They both continued to lay there silently. Time they didn’t have ticked away.

Sam broke the silence. “Let’s get up before we run out of time. Let’s go hunt, together. For another option.”

“Yes. Perhaps the harvest moon will provide,” replied Tara.

“If it wants us to exist, I hope it does–and soon.”

With that, Tara and Sam got dressed and left the comfort of the waterfall and headed North. They moved through the woods quickly and quietly with Tara in the lead. Though Sam was a natural in the woods, like all forest fairies, this forest was Tara’s home and had been for nearly 100 years. She knew it intimately and headed towards the outskirts of the small desolate town. For over a mile, they moved in silence, neither wanting to acknowledge the lack of time they both had.

Then, suddenly Tara stopped. Sam watched her silently and then heard it too. Screams to the West. Horrible screams. Without a word, Tara took off running towards the distant sound. Sam followed her without question and wondered, Maybe the moon is giving us another option?

As they neared the source of cries, they slowed down trying to determine the situation. Together, two people who had prepared on killing someone in sacrifice before the night was over, stood frozen in horror at the scene they had just run to. At least when they had to kill, they did it quickly and humanly. This scene was just brutal.

There, in the middle of the woods, was a crazed man attacking a woman. She was on her stomach, desperately trying to crawl. Clinging to roots and grasping at the ground, she tried to distance herself from him. But his knife found the flesh of her back and, from the amount of blood covering her, several other places on her body.

Sam lunged forward, “This is our second chance. I’ll take him. You get her.”

Tara ran towards the blood with Sam. When he got close to man he grabbed the knife from his hand, throwing it into the brush. Then, he pounced on the attacker, pulling him off the woman.

Tara grabbed the woman and rolled her over onto her back. She had every intent on finishing her off. She looked near dead anyway, and this was her sacrifice now, thanks to the harvest moon. However, when she looked down at the woman, she froze. The bloodied victim was pregnant. Tara had not expected this and fairy laws were clear. Children were never to be harmed. Ever. Only adults could be a sacrifice. Only adult blood of a human or forest fairy would count. Killing a child would be worse than making no sacrifice at all. In fact, it guaranteed eternal torture.

The pregnant woman looked up at Tara, stretching her arms out to hold her belly.

“Pa..Pa..Pleeeasse help my baby,” whimpered the woman. Instinctively, Tara pulled her torn garment off her stomach. She wiped away the blood as best she could to see her wounds.  She was covered in scratches and blood, but there only appeared to be one shallow stab wound on her stomach.

“You belly looks ok. There is only one cut and it’s shallow,” reported Tara.

“I turned. I tried to protect… please help my baby. Don’t let it die,” pleaded the woman.

“Of course you did,” Tara smiled while rubbing the lady’s forehead. “You did great.”

“Something’s wrong. I cannot feel the baby. I cannot feel…Please. Oooohhh. Please. Please don’t let my baby die.”

Tara wasn’t a doctor, but she had lived in the forest for nearly 100 years. She’d seen many lives end, as well as begin. These were typically animals lives though. However, she wasn’t ignorant to human life and had always tried to make her harvest moon sacrifices as painless as possible.

In her century of life, she had had to learn about regular humans. Sometimes, it was merely out of curiosity. Other times, she was on a mission to study them so her encounters with them would not raise suspicions.  She needed to blend in to survive. All her experiences combined with her fairy senses, told her enough to agree with this woman. It didn’t look good for her or her baby.

As she stared down at the woman, she ran her hand over the mother’s belly. Then, she laid her hands on the woman’s head. She could feel life slipping away from the woman. Yet, the baby felt strong so far. But unless the baby was delivered soon, Tara knew, it would die with the mother.

Just then, Sam ran over.  Tara glanced up at him, and then over to the attacker who lay on the ground, still and lifeless. She knew Sam had made his sacrifice and from the scene they came upon, the world would not miss that human in the least.

Tara looked back at Sam. “She’s pregnant.”

Immediately, Sam knelt next to Tara. “How is the baby?”

“It seems fine surprisingly, but probably not for long,” Tara stated as she looked over the mother. “She’s bleeding a lot, but doesn’t seem to be in labor.”

“We have to save the baby,” said Sam while discovering a deep wound along the woman’s neck. She whimpered under the pressure of his hands. “I don’t think she is going to make it. This gash is so deep.”

“And there are several more on her back,” replied Tara.

“Save…my, my baby…my baby,” stammered the woman who had started to fall in and out of consciousness.

“We will my dear. We will. You did a great job protecting it. You were so very brave,” soothed Tara. She looked up at Sam. “This baby is not coming naturally, but it has to come now or it will die with her.”

Sam felt the woman’s belly, then her head. He was trying to sense the life of each spirit, like Tara had done moments before. He looked up at Tara. “I think your right. She’s going to die regardless. We both know that. But either way, we have to save the baby.”

“Let me at least give her some comfort. She has suffered enough,” said Tara. “Get my backpack.” Sam ran over to where they had stopped and discovered the brutal scene. He grabbed the backpack she had thrown aside and brought it to her.

Tara quickly pulled out a bottle of water and a large rolled up leaf from her bag. She unrolled the leaf and pulled out a pinch of the enclosed crushed herbs.

“Good idea,” said Sam when he recognized the herbal concoction that would give the woman a sense of comfort and euphoria.

“I can at least give her peace before she dies.”

Sam nodded and stood up, giving Tara room. Tara leaned over the woman’s head and put the herbs on her tongue. Then, she  poured a tiny bit of water into her mouth, causing her to swallow.

Meanwhile, Sam walked over to where he had thrown the attacker’s knife. After a few minutes, he found the bloody blade and returned to Tara and the dying mother who was now feeling no pain.

When he reached them, Tara had her hands over the woman’s mouth and nose, putting her out of her misery. And as a result, had just fufilled her official harvest moon sacrifice. Sam paused, knowing this fact would not matter if the child was not saved. He stood there, holding the knife in Tara’s sight and announced, “You are going to need this since there is no labor, and the baby must live.”

“I know. I know. But you can’t help me. If I mess up, I want this only on me. It can only be by my hands,” Tara said, looking at the knife.

Sam knelt down beside her and grabbed her hand. “No. You’ve made your sacrifice with kindness. I have made mine defending another. The harvest moon’s demands have been met. It gave us another option. Now, we will save this baby together. And together, we shall remain.”

Tara looked at him. “OK. But if we fail, we will both go to the Casism, instead of just me.”

“Yes, so the law says when you kill a child,” Sam replied coldly. “But…if we succeed, we will be bonded together forever by saving a child on the harvest moon. We have a chance at a blessing I never thought was possible. Not until I met you Tara.”

Tara stared at him realizing that he was referring to ancient fairy blessing that bound two lovers together when they saved a child on a harvest moon. It was more than a spiritual binding too. It was blessing so deep that it released them from the harvest moon’s annual call for blood. By saving the child together, on this night, they would not only be saved from the horror of life in the Casism, but they would be forever freed from the one night of horror that forest fairies dreaded. And, they could stay mated forever.

Tara nodded, “I had not thought of that Sam. I had almost forgotten that legend.”

“So, we will do it together,” he replied and leaned in to give her a kiss.

“Together,” she repeated. “We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

“Yes. Indeed we do. So, together forever. By dawn, it will a new begging for the three of us.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

writephoto

 

 

 

 

Return of the Warrior


The bar had a musty foul smell. Why anyone would choose to sit here was beyond her, thought Amera. Walking through this horrible place was not her choice. It was more of a duty-one that the king had essentially commanded. She would not fail, regardless of the stench.

Amera stopped abruptly when she saw him. What a disgusting mess he was, her uncle. His clothes were unkempt and looked to have been worn nonstop for weeks, if not months. He looked dirty, probably contributing to the odor of the place. His stained hands had a slight tremor as they lay near his cold pint. Maybe this was a bad idea, she thought. How could he help me now?

“Are you going to just stare at me awkwardly child, or are you going to have a drink with your uncle?” asked the heap of man in rags.

“I was undecided uncle as I was making sure it was really you,” lied Amera. “You cut your hair.”

It was getting in the way of my drinking,” stated Markor plainly.

“Aye. That’s a good enough reason as any I suppose.”

“Well, pull up a chair my child, and tell me what brings you to the palace city. Though, I have heard the rumors on the street, I’d like to her what my own kin has to say of the matter.”

Amera pulled up a sticky seat and plopped down next to the shell of her uncle. She felt like a child again. But this time, she was not staring at a heroic war legend. This time she was sitting next to a broken warrior who had watched his own wife and son die before him. She had heard the horrible tale how the evil spirit had slowly tortured them in front of Markor’s eyes while IT had him frozen under a spell. Indeed, it was a good enough reason for a man to break. A lessor man would not have survived nor had any sense of reality after. She could see the pain in her uncle’s eyes and understood his need to numb the memory, one that assuredly haunted him daily.

“The king has commanded me to seek out those who IT has affected. I am to try and heal them, if possible,” stated Amera wasting no time getting to the point.

Markor took a long, slow gulp of his pint and stared forward. She remembered how regal he was, the battle-worn Soldier, the warrior of legends. There were portraits of him at the palace even. They crafted him in his prime, stabbing a dark spirit in battle. His face was handsome and fierce. His long golden locks flying in the wind, like a lion. She looked over at him now thinking he could easily go unrecognized now. He just looked like a regular dirty drunk. She knew he was more though, which is why she was here.

“I see. And from your sudden presence, you wish me to help?” He didn’t even turn when he asked. He just kept staring forward, not at the wall but somewhere deep in his mind.

“I can think of no other better qualified uncle. Nor one whom I’d trust more.”

There was a long pause. They both sat in silence…

She knew she was asking a lot. It was a dangerous mission. IT was still out there hurting people. If left unattended, IT could regain power. The king could not risk that. So Amera was to heal while her uncle was to fight. However, his last fight with IT had destroyed him, and here she was, asking him to face IT again. It was a huge request, even from the king.

“We will need help,” he finally stated.

“Yes indeed we will. The king told me he will pay our team: other healers, other warriors.”

“And we will choose our team?”

“Of course. The king expects no less.”

Markor took a deep breath and turned to Amera. “Well. I suppose it’s time child. We can begin in the ‘more. Tonight, we shall celebrate your regal appointment and talk of good days.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

friday-fiction-200

Prompt for Challenge

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.~Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

  • Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)
  • Take your favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for your entry this week. If you want more direction, make it the last sentence in your piece. (REQUIRED)

 

I used lines from the movie, Georgia Rule. “You cut your hair….It was getting in the way of my drinking.”

When my daughter and I were watching it, those lines took you from a serious moment to funny. We started cracking up laughing and crying at the same time. Brilliant writing. Now, we pull out those lines every now and then as a joke. So, I had to use them.

The story above is a continuation from two other short fiction pieces I wrote. If you want to read those, they can be found at the links below.

First story, Walking Through Death, Finding Hope.

The second story, Saving the Prince.