Tag Archive: 2014


43 – Dying

Her breath was catching in her throat, every gasp was rattling. Pain throbbed through her with every heartbeat, her hand growing slicker every time she took another gasp of air in.

Trembling feet still remembered the route that was familiar from the many years of traversing these treacherous paths, her eyes blurring and clearing as she picked her way over traps, shuffling onwards.

The walls of the labyrinth were her crutch, a branch snagging at her hood, sweeping it back off her head, her blonde hair tumbling out, blood sweeping across the end of it, tiny spatters joining the drop that were spilling out from between her fingers, a bloody trail for anyone to follow.

Her eyes blurred again as her support ran out and she stumbled out into the clearing. She coughed, bloody spit coming out of her lungs as the sharp pain spasmed through her.

Ten steps to the centre, where the cold stone block stood, unaffected by time.

Sage’s knees gave out at eight.

The floor rushed up to meet her, the arrows in her chest twisted around, the pain shooting through her lungs and the blood seeped through her clothing. Looking up, she crawled, awkwardly twisting around the shafts protruding from her chest, until she touched the stone step that led up to the sarcophagus.

Her breath was almost gargling as she drew it now, her lungs filling with almost as much blood as was pouring out. She curled up, drawing the holed cloak around her. The pain which had been so sharp seemed to start fading away, her breath shallow and eyes closing. It was a little cold, but silent.

A shout burst in on her peace, and there was a warmth hovering over her shoulder.

“Don’t touch me.”

“Sage?”

“Leave a dying women alone. Just let me die, in peace.”

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WINNER!

Okay, so there are still two days left, and I haven’t technically written the end yet, but I hit 100K. And I called that good for a validation point 😀

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

Hopefully, in December, things will stop being as hectic, and I’ll be able to keep this blog up to date. Of course, there is christmas, so we’ll have to see. But I haven’t forgotten all you you, my lovely readers! Thank you for bearing with me (or without me, as the case actually is) during this month of extreme novelling.

Anyone else celebrating a NaNo victory? Or any sort of victory at all?

75K!

I hit my original goal of 75K today! On day21!

Yes I do know that I could have done better, but there is this little thing called Warlords of Draenor that came out, and besides, I want to have room to beat myself next year!

Look at this shiny thing!

Screenshot 2014-11-22 at 15.17.03

So I still have nine whole days left.

Screw it, let’s try for the big 6 figures, 100K. It’s not like I’ve finished the novel yet.

50K!

On day 12.

*dances*

 

50K!

I am very very happy.

So let’s see what I can do with the rest of the month!

Dane ducked under the first two guards, and then tossed the parcel to Roger, who darted around another two, passing it to Leo, ho bull rushed to the gate, but stopped and threw it long hand to Edmund.

The way they worked together, as a team, was beautiful to watch. They dodged and weaved and evaded the guards, all the time keeping the parcel out of their hands, trying to get it to one of the gates so that they could make off with it.

How fruitless their endeavour was to be.

From her vantage point on the wall, she could see re-enforcements coming down from the palace. They really should get a move on.

But no, their pointless game was coming to an end. No matter how good they were, number won the day, every time.

Theo was there, at the front, commanding the palace troops. It was longer lived than she thought they would have done. They were quick and clever, those brothers of hers. Too bad their teamwork only extended to males members of the family.

The parcel was placed in Theo’s hand, delivered by a guard, and three of the boys were on their knees. Tybalt, Leo and Simon has never been as fast.

Sage stood up on the wall, and then jumped down. The tiny cloud of dust was noticed, but then guard slid his gaze over her. Sage walked in between the guards, careful to not touch anyone as she grew closer to Theo.

“For the crime of theft from the King, you are arrested and-”

Theo never got to finish his sentence as Sage pushed her hood back and appeared two steps from him.

“I’ll take that.” She lifted the present from his stunned hands. “None of you are capable of wielding it’s gifts. And frankly, you are far more likely to blow something up that be successful.”

Before the shock of her sudden appearance had sunk in, she lifted her hood again, disappearing from all their view. She was ten paces away, moving swiftly on light feet before the first person shouted, and movement rippled outward.

Accusations flew thick and fast between everyone. She stifled a laugh as someone accused her brothers of organising her to steal it for them.

Oh, if only they knew how she hated being on anyone’s team but her own.

“I don’t have one.”

“If you’re having trouble finding your rating, then you can look on your guild’s web page.”

“You aren’t listening. It’s not that I can’t find it, I don’t have one.”

“Everybody has one.”

“Everybody in a guild has one. I am not in a guild.”

The enlister standing behind the booth stood dumb for a moment, his mouth hanging open as his eyes looked at her.

Kelly crossed her arms and looked at him back, waiting for the shock to pass over him.

“I’m sorry, to join our guild we need to know your rating.”

“So how do you accommodate kids joining a guild for the first time?”

“Our junior program assigns children a rating before they join the guild properly. They work towards a good rating in their junior camps.”

Kelly rolled her eyes. “Right. Because that’s so people friendly.” And then she turned on her heel and stomped off. She kept going until she had left the recruitment fair, and found a bench.

Hitting the vending machine in the sweet spot, a can rolled out, and she popped it before sinking onto the bench.

Her science teacher, Mr Rhodes was the one who found her. “Kelly? Why aren’t you in the fair?”

“Taking a break.”

“You should really get back in there. A guild is essential for social life and extra curricula activities.”

“I seem to be doing fine without it so far. Besides, if they’re going to have stupid entry requirements that I can’t achieve then there really isn’t anything I can do.”

“Come back in, give them another try.”

Kelly sighed, and drained the can before crushing it and throwing it in the recycling bin. “It’s not my fault we are rated on our merit outsides of anything but guilds.” She muttered under her breath as Mr Rhodes ushered her back into the Hall filled with stalls.

Falen snapped upright in bed, eyes bulging, and hands clawing at the blanket.

The images were vivid in her mind as her chest heaved, wing feathers trembling.

She threw off the blanket, and pulled on her outer clothes, fumbling with her belt and she kicked open the door, scuffing the lintel and causing the other occupant of the room to stir.

“Falen? Go back to bed.” A voice mumbled at her, but she was already leaving, sliding a window up and jumping out, pushing off the side of the building for a quick start.

High above the town, the night air whipped past her, her wings beating out a frantic pace, fuelled by the images from her dream.

Her shoulders ached by the time she reached the deep forest, forsaking stealth for speed as she winged past the patrol routes, and dove down, easily finding her old house in amongst the trees.

She landed on the balconey, and the fear rose up in her when she opened the curtain. There was no light in the room.

“Mother?”

“You came.” The voice was tired, barely a whisper, but it was triumphant.

Falen padded over to the bed, sitting down on the edge. “Nothing would keep me away.”

“I knew you had the gift.” Her mother raised a shaking hand, and cupped her daughter’s cheek. “Take my things, they are yours now. Don’t let them take them from you.”

“I promise mother. I will keep them safe.”

Falen could just about see the smile on her mother’s face, and the whisper that came through it, “Dream well, my daughter.”

Falen held her mother’s hand on her cheek long after the eyes had closed and the skin had cooled.

The vibrations through the wood told her off Fae approaching. She folded her mother’s hand over her chest and smoothed her wing feathers down. In the pale light of the dawn she could see a bag sitting by the bed. Her mother had been prepared for this. She picked up the bag, and settled it between her wings.

On the balcony she looked back on last time at her mother, as the door opened and members of the guard that she recognised came in. As they spotted her, she turned back and took off, leaving the shouts echoing in empty air.

It was only when she was in the air that she wiped her face with the back of her hand, the tears running back over her face in the wind. She didn’t know whether to bless or curse the dreams that she had inherited from her mother. Bless them for allowing her to say goodbye. Or curse them for being the very thing that took her from her mother’s side in the first place.

The first thing she noticed was the wetness on her cheek.

Adrianna blinked her eyes open, and was greeted by gloom. Carefully raising on hand, she felt for the wetness, her head stinging as she ran her fingers over the jagged edges of her skin, and drew her fingers back. The blood was sticky, congealing. At least she wouldn’t be bleeding to death.

Slowly, to not hurt her head anymore, she sat up and looked around. The room that she was in was tiny, and made of stone. Cold penetrated the air, and the open doorway showed nothing but brilliant white.

She used the wall to stand up, and slowly walked over to the open doorway. The snow was bright and thick, even though the sun was hiding behind the clouds. There was a light wind, flicking flurries of snow up into the air, wiping away the hoof prints that she could see leading out into the snow. Three people on horses had come here, two people with three horses had left.

Adrianna carefully took out a handkerchief from her sleeve, crouched down to dip it in the snow, and held it between her hands until it was soggy. With the wet cloth, she wiped the blood off her face. Rinsing it out in the snow again, she wiped the rest of her face free of any dust that might have gathered there whilst she was lying on the floor.

It had been wholly unnecessary to lure her out here and then club her into unconsciousness. She had thought better of the King than that. If he wished her exiled, then all he had to do was pass the sentence and she would have left. Not willingly, but she would have. Times like this made her doubt humanity.

She looked down at the kerchief, and a pang went through her heart. It was one of the ones that Karise had given her, one of the many that the princess had. She sincerely hoped that her dear friend would not think she had abandoned her. For now, she could not go back home. There would come a time when they might ask her to come back, but not before then would she see her dear princess again.

Sighing, she hung the wet handkerchief over her belt, and then started walking through the snow. It was time to return to the home that her ancestors had abandoned.

castlefrozen

They had been going back and forth all day, carrying books and scrolls.

Sage was sat on her bed, head turned to look down at the window, her own book lying open on her lap as her grey eyes studied the comings and goings of the people below.

Most of the people doing the fetching were apprentices of the school, she knew from their insignia’s, and she recognised Robyn with his fly away hair. Apprentices only fetched for teachers and masters.

Getting up from her bed, she knocked on the door to her chambers.

The guard who was watching her that day opened it and looked at her.

“I need some exercise. Can we walk the grounds?”

He nodded once, and shut the door, taking the chain off, before letting her out. She swung her cloak over her shoulders and then slowly walked out of the building, the guard following a couple of paces behind her.

She was slow in her paces, getting down to the courtyard and then watching as the apprentices jostled around a certain door. Angling herself, she walked, and looked as she walked down the corridor.

Inside the room were chalkboards, with many untidy scribblings and hanging scrolls dangling from them. One quick glance over with her eyes told her everything that she needed to know about what they were doing.

She didn’t realised that she stopped, as she looked at them, her mind racing ahead as she solved the problem that they were working on. Her penetrating gaze didn’t go unnoticed, as some people turned to glance at her, and her guard nudged her in the back.

She looked at him, and then the blackboards, and then started walking again, with a more reasonable pace. The contents of the blackboard were burned into her memory. She only hoped that they solved their little problem before they attempted to use the artefact again. Sage imagined several people would be displeased if the princess and her new husband lost theirs head when they tried to put the crowns they had retrieved from the labyrinth on.

Kali’s grin was vicious. “Sorry boys, but you’re a good nineteen years too late for that.”

She leapt forward, between the two of them, and her wings erupted from her back, somersaulting her over the podium where she could snatch up the artefact. Landing on the edge of the podium, she stood there for a frozen moment, letting the faces of shock, and even horror, at the sight of her black wings sink into her memory.

Before they could collect themselves, she crouched, and thrust herself upwards, an energy blast shattering the stone of the roof, showering the people below with rubble. Shaking the dust off herself, she swung low, skimming along the tops of the nearby buildings to hide herself within.

Angels. She spat the word out in her head. Turning back over her shoulder she could see the forerunners, their bright white wings stark against the darkness of the night. Demon’s wouldn’t be able to follow her, not without wings of their own. And Angel’s? Oh look, predictably going for height.

Kali speed up, the shadows playing around her as she sped along a straight road, out of the city. Passing over the last building, she flicked her tip up, and rolled upwards on a draft. They might have seen her at that point, but she was just as fast as them, and was quickly lost amongst the night clouds.

An hour later she dropped out, positive that no one else was around. How foolish Angel were to try to track her down like another puny Demon. She was the best and worst parts of both of them, they didn’t have a hope of catching her.

The forest was alive with night sounds as she breezed over it, the ruins almost undistinguishable from the trees due to the vines and plants which had taken over so thoroughly.

Settled down on a window ledge, she leaned out into the faint moonlight, and finally opened her hand to see that most precious treasure.

The lump of rock look like nothing special, just a piece of rough stone worn smooth by many hands over the centuries.

But to Kali? It was the best birthday present she had ever received.

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