Posted in The Guardian

Chapter III

Zeliana.

A gleam of light slivers itself into my eyes, and I blink myself awake. A stress on my wrist makes me sore, where as my ankles are bound together as well. The ground beneath me is wet and wooden, and a sticky substance is glued to the left side of my face, making the left eye sting. A fly buzzes by and lands on me as if I were a dead piece of meat.

A rocking sensation makes my head tremble with unbearable pains to my head.

The light source was a small crack in the darkness, perhaps in a wall next to me.

Tip. Tap. Tip. Tap. Tip. Tap.

Droplets are dripping nearby. Not so near that it hits my face, but close enough that it’s not the echo that I hear.

Wait. Scratch that.

Tip. Tap. TIp. TAp. TIP. TAP.

The sound comes closer, and nearer and closer, and nearer until the leather of worn boots are skinning my face. They nudge the back of my head and body twists to see the owner of the ragged boots.

A women of high caliber leers at me with a single cocked eyebrow. Carefully, with my arms bounds together, push myself up, and sit as well as I can without tipping over. I strain my eyes to examine her in the cold darkness of wherever the hell I was. She was, not really what I would say short, but actually shorter than short. She was miniaturized. The arms crossed on her, make her chest stick out in a way where she looked as if she was pouting. The shadow of her curls reminded me of a firework in mid burst. The light that was cast on her face, was like a slit, so I could only see her piercing jade eyes.

“Get up.” She commands in a way where her voice could see right through me. My hands tremble from her voice ringing in my ears.

Who knew that those two words could inflict so much fear?

“But, um miss,-” I pause, and rethink what I’m about to say. Best case scenario? She does it. Worst case? She doesn’t. Fuck it, let’s do it. “-my feet and hands are bound so it would be excruciating to get up. . .”

She is silent for what seems like a million years.

I done fucked up now.

And then. . .

And then an eruption of laughter utters from her lips. It’s starts off with a slight grunt, then a couple of chuckles and escalates into a full on hearty laugh.

Perplextion finds itself on my face and it was like a question mark formed next to my face. My head cocks to the side as if I were to inquire about her laughter. And  after a bit, her laughter begins to slow, and she stops and smiles.

She kneels down, so that we are inches from each other.

“Ya know, young lassie, most grown men, some twice your size, some have LOOKED into the face of death and haven’t trembled, would be scared out of their wits. But you. You haven’t even shaken at all.”

Maybe it’s because I have no idea who the hell you are lady!

“And I, will give you mercy for that. Why hell! The world needs more strong ladies like us to show who’s  boss!” A snort chuckle grumbles in her throat.

Why, isn’t she so happy go lucky.

She reaches into her pocket and grabs my knife. Wait. WAIT. MY KNIFE?

“Hold still, this won’t hurt unless you’re going to squirm around. Then, you may lose a finger or two.” She laughs as if that was the funniest joke in the entire seas.

Slice.

My blade cuts through the thickly and tightly tied ropes around my wrists as if it were paper being ripped in half. She moves onto my ankles, and again, with ease, the ropes are split.

I roll my wrists in circles, because, well, who knew that arm cramps could be that bad. I do the same for my ankles.

When I look up again, her arm is extended towards me in means of helping me, and I gratefully take it. We walk towards a cracked doorway, and I can feel my feet slosh through a layer of water in this place. The floor creaks after every step I take.

Click. Clack. Click. Clack.

The sound of her boots makes it seems as if they were heeled, and it’s like a light in this pitch blackness that I’m wandering about in. My boots, however, are the deafening creaking sounds followed by each step I take.

“Watch ye step,” the mysterious lady growls. Her growl was more of a deep voice erupting from her throat, but with a gurgling ending. It had a hint of sincerness, and warning, and yet it was as if she was hiding the fact that she was looking out for me. I guess you could say that she was shy about her motherly nature. Well, that’s all I could tell, for I still had no idea who this lady was.

I feel a plank of wood inches from the ground as I follow her, and I take the steps up.

“One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve.-” I mumbled to myself, as I counted the amount of stairs. I stop on the twelfth, as the lady had stopped too. Her arm twists, and opens a dook.

Crreeeaaaaaaak.

The soft pale light streams in, and I see the deck of a ship rocking back and forth. The moonlight was like light streaming from stained glass in the religious houses. Colors danced around my feet, and I felt like a child again with the light.

Wait.

A ship?

A SHIP??!?

My words tip over each other. “W-Wait, h-h-ho-ld U-P MISS! I HAVE TO GO BACK!” I stumble a little, and my foot slips, and I crash down those twelve stairs.

“Ye, now’ I can’t have no time a wastin’ cause I gotta get me and me crew outta here! And well, ye lassie seemed like ye had no nothin’ to get back to! So me crew and me took a likin’ to ye and brought ye aboard. Better to be here then out in the streets, ye?” She moves up again, and steps onto the deck of this godforsaken threshold.

Shock and frustration erupts onto my face. I can feel my face boil, and my hands clench into fists. Tears begin to well up in the corners of my eyes, and I quickly wipe them away, for the sake of not showing weaknesses. I jump up and race up the stairs again.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. And into the open, until I stand about arms length from her bosom.

. . .

“Papa! Papa! A kid hurt me! H-he tr-i-iped me and- and,” My seven year old self wails. His eyebrows furrow and I can see him grip the ends of his armrests. They relax again and his smooth slikey voice coaxes me.

“Wipe your tears away, and straighten that back. Show them Zeliana. Show them that whatever the hell they do, you won’t back down. And they should back off. But not with your fists, with your words.”

I rub my tears away, and stand up straighter that I had ever done before. I can still feel the tears form in the blackness of my eyes.

. . .

“HOW? HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME? I HAVE A HOME! I HAVE A FAMILY! I HAVE A PLACE TO GO BACK TO!” Words spill out of me before I can really think about what I say.

A confused look turns onto her face for a split second, and then it becomes neutral. No sign of anger, or passion, or sadness. None, whatsoever. And then she opens her mouth.

“Well, if you want to go home that badly, then jump off this ship, and swim back.” The threatening tone makes me shiver and regret everything I ever said. I shrink back and step away with my head held down, in shame. The  tears I wiped away seem to form again and I don’t bother to wipe them again.

“I’m sorry.” I whisper in a barely audible voice. “I’m sorry.” My knees weaken, and I slump down. I hear her shoes begin to move away, and I know in that moment, that I truly am alone. For good. My head tucks under in between my knees and my hands start shaking.

And for the longest time all I could hear was the sniffling from my nose, and the water crashing on the side of the vessel.

Splash. Crash. And all those other background noises. In my head I could hear an imaginary clock.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

The insufferable sound of it made me feel like jumping into the ocean was the only way to get out of this impossible to solve situation. And then, the oh-so-familiar sound of clickly-clack heeled worn out boots started approaching.

Click. Clack. Click. Clack. ClICK. ClACK. CLICK. CLACK. And then?

And the silence.

Thud.

I look up, with my puffy red eyes, and see her powerful legs behind a rusty bucket with sea rocks running along the edges.

I look up some more, and see her a soft smile, and a warming gaze upon her face. And then her mouth opens.

“Ok, ye’ ca complain all ya’ want, but yer gunna hava to do a workin’ here and a thar’ to be on this baby until we bring ye’ back a home? So get ya butt up, and starts a mopin’. When ya done’ find me, or chat with Phon-” She point to a familiar looking guy.

Wait. Isn’t he? Oh fuck. He is.

His all too familiar cocky smile, and long ponytail behind him, made him all too familiar. He was wearing a dark brown vest, unbuttons, so his loose shirt underneath tumbled out a bit. The shirt was a cream color, and was tucked into a pair of flowy pants. A distinct bandage was wrapped around his right thigh. Hints of blood in the messy wrapping hits my gut feeling, and I feel guilty all over again.

“Me or le lassie will take ye to yer bunk area. dosn’t matter none if ye is a lass or un lassie, but yer all gunna hava sleep in the same decking below! So the faster ye wash le deck, the faster yer gunna hava been able to sleep. Oh, here ya, I kept a hold on yer belonging strung on ye belt so ye wont get yer crap stolen.”

She tosses me my handy man’s belt (a belt lined with pockets and hooks for easy slipping for small trinkets and tiny knives), and for the first time that day, I realized that my familiar weight on my hips wasn’t there. My eyes no longer feel puffy, and instead I feel a hint of adventure, an indescribable feeling of lust for excitement and new beginnings. My hand runs along my belt and checks for each and every single thing.

Lights? Yeah. Pocket watch? Yeah. Locket? Yeah. Knives? Yeah. Cool, got everything.

I stand up, and brush the dust of my trousers. And grab the mop.

“That’s the good spirit lassie!”

“Yes’m.”

“Don’t call me ma’am! Call me Captain!”

A beaming smile blinds me, and a warm feeling in my chest grows. And then I feel a slight hit at my bum, and a cackle. A blush sweeps onto my face and I quickly get to work, dunking the mop in and out of a old bucket, and sliding it around the floor.

Dunk. Wipe. Wipe. Wipe. Dunk. Wipe. Wipe. Wipe.

Oh, I wonder if- Hm, maybe perhaps he does. Not sure if he thinks I’m just being a rebel again or a troubled soul. Either way, he wouldn’t care. After all, it’s not like we’re blood brothers. Pft. As if he would worry. He’s probably going out and bringing women home, just because I’m out!. Why, that may be the only reason he let me go out! That little bastard! Or maybe he actually does worry. Maybe he actually cares about me.

As if.

I begin to hum songs that I hear from the festivals, and market hymns. The crashing of the waves begin to get louder, and louder.

Crash. CRash. CRAsh. CRASh. CRASH. CRASH!

Tiny droplets begin to fall, but I don’t notice for I was too busy mopping back and forth.

Drip. Drip. DRip. Drop. Drip. Drop. Plink. Plonk. Drip. Drop.

And then it’s just begins to pour, out of nowhere. I grab the bucket and the mop, and run to the door where as I came from. Other crew members crowd around me, as I open the door. We scatter downstairs and I sprint to an empty spot, in the midst of the commotion.

The room was technically a room. It was more of a hallway, that lead to other places. A pleasant smell catches my eye, but I resist because hell, I was on a godforsaken vessel, and it was sailing right into a storm. And I had no idea what the fuck to do.

I run to the right, and check every room till I find the directions room. And as I check every room, I take note of them in my small notebook:

First door; a room of supplies, perhaps writing supplies? Saw some stacks of journals, and papers lying about.

Second room; food storage. Nuff’ said.

Third room; the source of that delicious smell, the kitchen.

Fourth room; bunk room, with four already taken beds.

Fifth room; more taken bunks.

Sixth room; the boiler.

Seventh room; lead to a ladder, which lead to a lower deck of cannons.Yeah, not going in there again.

Eighth room; The sick bay. Yikes.

Ninth room: Was labeled Captain’s room, not going to even open it.

Tenth room: Said Do not enter, and was locked. Hmm, wonder what that was.

Eleventh Room: Medical Supplies, best not to mess with those.

Twelfth room: Mostly empty bunk room, perhaps I could it? Yeah, perhaps.

Thirteenth room: The Directions room, where the clinks and clonks happen, and the where’s and the whats are answered. Directions room, where a person finds out where the heck they are!

I take a step, and another step towards that thirteenth door. The tension builds up on my back, and my hand shakes as I reach out to knock the door. It raps on the creaking wood and a shuffle of feet come in a response. The door shifts open and the Captain stands in the doorway with a glint in her eyes. In a split second, it fades, but I swear I saw something, I just know I did. She takes a step forward and smiles. And a shiver runs down my neck. Was she… Is she..? Mad? I couldn’t tell, not with her stone face and my lack of knowledge of her.

     “Do you,-” She pauses. It wasn’t like a natural pause, it was an awkward one. Like the type of pause your parent makes before they tell you that your dog died. “Do you want to see your sleeping quarters?” Confusion sweeps over my sense, and I find myself unsure of what to say, what to do and how to feel.

“Sure.” A sliver of a smile slides onto my lips, and in that moment I had no idea of what was to come, and what to expect. She lead me down and out of the room, down the creaking wooden hallway into a small room hidden behind the stairs reaching from the upper deck. It was like my own hidden safe spot. I went in, and she left me. Left me to explore what I would call home for awhile.

The room was small, like I had expected. A desk with a dim light, and a bed overhead. A ladder was propped against the wall, and that was it. A bed and a desk. And there and then, I truly felt alone. Like no one will care for me, and no one will remember me.

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Posted in The Guardian

Chapter II

Zeliana.

The two of us step into a clearing that was full of men and highly trained entertainers. A bar fight was going on to my right, and the center had a ring of men yelling and chanting.

“COME ON!! GET EM!!!”

“RIGHT CLUB! RIGHT CLUB!”

“SWIG THAT CHEATING BASTARD!!!”

A fight club. The men were scrawny and buff, some had tattoos and scars running all of their bodies while some were neatly dressed in a suit. None the less their appearance, they all sounded like man men with their loud and slurred voices.

“Um, Rosaline, I don’t think I should be here.” My voice trembles.

“Oh nonsense, it’ll be fine sweetie.” She casually says. “Here, have a drink. It’ll loosen you up, make you feel more relaxed.” She hands me a multicolored cocktail. I take the swig in one gulp and all of a sudden I could hear myself cheer on a fighter.

“COME ON GET HIM!!” I yell towards the younger one. His black long ponytail wisps around like the wind. And he glances towards me. I swear I could feel his stare in my eyes.

Odd. My voice? It’s distorted and slurred. Like the many others. Time begins to mash together, and I can barely tell what’s happening.

I snap into focus and I find myself on the outtrim of a fight circle. My head is throbbing, and my body aches all over. I’m surrounded by drunkards and it’s seems like I was drugged. Where the bloody tarnations am I? I see Rosaline. She’s holding a sign that says round- wait. AM I IN A BLOODY FIGHT? OH GODS EL WILL MURDER ME!!!

I inch towards Rosaline with a petrified look in my eyes. “Um, Rosaline?”

She looks at me, with a “you got yourself into this mess and I’m not helping you” look. Poppycock. Okay Ze, let’s get this over with and go home. Nothing would have happened. I turn a bit, to take a good look of my opponent.

Male. Coal hair that is pulled into a ponytail? How very queer. Tall. Perhaps clumsy? I don’t get to finish my analyzing, for a bell triggers, signaling the starts of this round. Round 4 was it? I step forward, hands gripped on my knifes. Ready, and waiting.

He inches forward, and then like a fox he slinks forward within a blink. His agility was unbelievable. He swings a backwards kick at me, but I duck in the nick of time. I feel the breeze from his kick.

Yipes.

I gracefully leap back, and swipe my knives out.

This bitch is goin down.

I rush in and swipe my right hand across. His body blurs to to the left and I throw my left arm in. He dodges, but not quick enough. A red line oozes blood across his right cheek. His eyes narrow in a threatening glare, and with his palm he rubs off the trickling blood.

As we fight, it was as if I was a fairy and he was trying to catch me. He kept reaching out, and every time he was within a reach, I would pull back like a gypsy. And dance gracefully and swiftly.

Enough of this dancing party. I’ll end this before he can blink.

I spin around and my knife aims for his face. And yet, he wasn’t behind me, instead dust cloud had formed in his place. I grit my teeth in frustration.

“Coward! Come out little mouse!” I yell, throwing my worst insults at him. Well I admit, I need to work on my insults, but that can happen another time.

“Instead of me coming out, you come in kitty.” His silky voice hypnotized me, but I caught myself just before I reached into the death storm.

Damn. He was good. Gods Ze get it together. Tune him out. DON’T LET HIM GET TO YOU.

After knocking sense into myself, I choose my words carefully.

“The mouse has to take the bait right?” I yell to no one in particular with my arms spread open, as if I were on my deathbed. Well I’m probably on my deathbed considering how screwed I am.

“Aw, is the pussy cat to scared to come fight the mousie?” His voice sickened the reason out of me.

In all my madness, I rushed into the cloud, never expecting the unexpected.

It’s a misty palace, well somewhat. I take slow steady steps, and am careful to not make any noise. Learning how to fight was a raised skilled.

“Mama why do they laugh at us? Mama why do they mock us?”

“It doesn’t matter why. What matters is how you deal with it.”

“B-but Mama, how do I block them out? Mama, mama how do I stop it? How do I stop them?” A tear slides from cheek and my cheek is wet. My breath is uneven, and it’s scares me. And yet, I had no idea how little this was compared to other scary things, or how big it could be too. See, in a way it’s small, because outside of that tiny world of mine, was war, death, all that serious nonsense, and yet it was so big at the same time, because it was only the beginning on that larger road. A larger road that, will lead to death.

“Zelly, think about your actions and how they affect people. Think, should you walk away with your pride full, or your head hanging in shame?”

“With my pride full, and my head held high for all to admire,” I began to say, and my mum had finished with me.

As fucking if I was going to just walk away. My slight chuckles turn into a fit of laughter as I think about what my mum told me.

Not to self: Never take advice on personal matters.

I clear my head and take a glance in my surroundings. Alright, so he’s nowhere in my peripheral vision, and so than can only mean one thing.

I hear the light step behind me, and then it hits me. No, it doesn’t hit me physically, more of a reaction that hit me. My elbow bends into a deadly point, and I take a quick jab behind me while I step back. I hit a soft spot, or what I think is a soft spot.

There we go. There’s the Zelly I know.

I quickly spin around and target the closest thing to me with my knife. His thigh. Oh shit. Oh crap. I did it again. I hurt someone again. That’s all I do. All I ever do is cause pain.

He falls back, and I quickly slide my blad out of him, and scream for help. I scream, and everything turns into a blur again. He’s taken away, and I’m pulled from the angry mob to a group of men. No wait, women. No. A woman. A mean lookin’ one too.

I feel a dull object hit me on the head, and my senses disappear. Everything goes black, and that when I hear the faint words echoing in the blackness of my mind;

What the fuck did I get myself into.

Posted in The Guardian

Chapter I

Nine Years Later

 

Zeliana.

 

“Six shillings for a piece of bread!?” I yell at the stand manager.

“Hey boy! So many people have gotten caught up in the army, so that His Majesty, can take over the Fire clan and Ice clan. I can’t help it! If you aren’t payin’ then get the hell out of my stall!” the old fart demanded. I grumble and fork over my money.  I grab my bread, and head out into the streets. I look for a spot to sit down, but I notice a twinkle in the corner of my eye.

I turn around and I find myself staring at a blacksmith’s stand. I shove my bread in my handy knapsack and head over. My hair flickers behind me like fire in the wind.

“Hellu there young lassie, ye looking for anythin’ in particular?” The black smith’s musty breath fills my nose and I cough.

“Yeah, I was wondering if you had any daggers?” The blacksmith points to the edge of the table.

“Them daggers are old, but I just worked on em yesterday. It’s a pair, with em’ fire symbols. You ain’t want them Fire folks to see you have it.” I study the pair. Silver bladed, with a symbol engraved on the hilt. I reach into my pocket and pull out my money bag and pull out a silver.

“This should be enough right?” He holds out his hand for more. “Bullshit.”

“Fine, I need to get rid of em’ anyways.” I flip the coin to him, and and take the daggers.

“Pleasure doing buisness with ye.” The blacksmith grins, and I see his black teeth shine. I cringe, and step back. I bump into a boy with a messy pony tail trailing behind him.

“Sorry mate!” I run-walk back home to show Elis my findings. Elis is my foster brother. My real parents? I never knew them. I’m the girl with the forgotten past. Elis is the only family figure that I remember, even if we aren’t blood.

“El! El! I found something amazing!” I burst into the room. My brother rolls over on the couch and falls off.

“I got off the couch so it better be important,” he grumbled sarcastically.

I grin proudly, and hold out the knife. Its blade glimmers under the flickering light bulb. His eyes widen and a foxy grin slips on his face. And then I slowly reveal the bread in my bag. His eyes drool and our stomachs talk.

Our laughter echoes in our underground hideout.

“Ze, what time is it?”

“Time for you to start making dinner.”

“Soup sounds good, now that we have this lovely baby here,” he stokes the loaf in a romantic manner.

“Sounds great!” I chuckle and head over to my room and lounge on my bed as Elis makes supper.

……

The full moon strikes a light through the cracks of the curtains. I slip on trousers and a tank top. My suspenders snap in place and I slip on my boots.

Knock. Knock.

I spin around and find Elis glaring at me.

“Zeliana. Rockwell. Where do you think you’re going at this hour?” His stare pierces my skin, leaving chills.

“Um, erm, well you see, I um-” My voice is mustered and the words barely form on my lips out of nervousness.

“You were going to the burrow right?”

“Yeah, but I was just-“

“Just going to see some friends? Poppycock! I can tell when you’re lying, and you know I wouldn’t have minded us going to the arena. A bit of sport isn’t bad now and then, but you didn’t, did you?”

My nerves begins to tremble and my feet are rooted to the ground. Using all of my strength I could muster, I nodded. My lips quivering

“Gods, you could’ve just told me, but I’ve really disappointed in ya.”

“Sorry.” My voice is barely audible. “I’m really sorry. I just-” I choke back my tears, “I just wanted to get some money, seeing at how hard you have to work everyday. I can’t stand not doing anything!” I’m breathless by now.

“Gods Ze, when you put it like that-” he let out an exasperated sigh. “Fine.

“What?” I’m completely befuddled.

“I’m saying that you can go to the burrow!”

“By the love of Gods!!! Thank you! You’re the best brother ever! I could-”

He holds up his finger to shush me, and an eyebrow is raised crookedly.

“But, on one condition. Be home in a couple hours!” I nod, and rush out down the street, prancing to the raddest place in all Ziore. The Burrow. My heart begins to race, and the wind is breezing into my face.

……

 

The market is buzzing to life. Lights are strung on trees and lines, making the place come to life. The cobblestone road is trampled by people and stalls.

Ah, the night market life is my thing.

I glance around to scope out the people. A girl a couple feet away from me was wearing trousers and a tanktop underneath a weathered leather jacket. Her auburn boots made her pants tuck in and poof at the rim. But her hair. Her hair was another story. It was a strawberry light brown with, well I’m guessing, natural ringlets that the ends, that was pulled into a messy ponytail. She looked nice.

Nice enough to flirt with. I walk over to a bar stand and buy her a cocktail, Porcupine Sunset. I buy a beer for myself, and head over to the butterfly.

“Hey there strawberry.” a cocky smile pulls over my face as I casually slide her the cocktail. She stares at me, in disgust. Wait did I do something wrong? Did she come here with a guy? Shit.

“Sweet cheeks you’re gonna need something more intense than that flimsy cocktail to win me over. How bout a nice round of shots?” A coy and playful smile spreads across her face while she plays with her hair. A cackle of a laugh slips through my lips, and her smile becomes more at ease. We head over to a dimmed bar on the side, arms linked. It looked as if we had known each other since forever.

A round of shots slides towards us, as the my new friends turns towards me.

“1. I’m not interested in a lover, but we can still be friends.”

I nod. Awkwardness clouds my eyes.

“2. My name is Rosaline Everight. And yours?” One of her eyebrows is cocked at an angle.

“Um-yeah. My name is Zeliana with no last name.” I stuttered. Gods Z. You act all confident and bold towards people, but when people do it back you become all goofy tongue. Good going.

Her striking giggle echoes in my ears. “Well then Zeliana with no last name,” she pauses to takes her last shot in a big swig, “shall we escape this barred place and explore the ventures of this night market?”

My shoulders ease a little and I become more relaxed. “We shall!” I return the mischievous grin. Well Ze, don’t mess this friendship like you did with all the others. This was sure to be an exciting night.

We head over to a tiny stand filled with antiques. There are sweet little tea cups adorned with flower patterns. And lights bulbs hang from the canopy’s roof. They reminded me of little stars that dangle in the air. The stand was also filled with woodworks that would spin around and make gay laughter erupt from a baby’s mouth. The stand owner gazes at me. He’s an old man, with the hit of kindness twinkling in his eyes.

“Your eyes linger for something. Perhaps a light would show you the way.” His eyes smile as he reveals a tiny light bulb with a shining star inside. It was as if the star was calling to me. As if I actually needed it.

“How much?” My own voice shocked me. What are you thinking? You don’t need  useless trinkets!!! Well I mean it is very pretty and would be nice. Okay but hear me out. Money issues. Yeah, but we can get back to that when we hear the price. I snap out of it, and snap my attention back to the seller.

“For you young lady, a copper for 5 lights.” A gentle smile is quirked at the ends of his lips.

Damn. That was cheap. Fine. You win.

I slide a copper over and take 5 lights. Two had stars, another two had crescent moons. Whereas another had a cluster of tiny stars in a swirl. I never knew how much these lights would come in handy. I wrap them in a cloth and slip them into my knapsack. I turn back to Rosaline, and find her staring back at me.

“Come on! I know this other cool place Ze! I can call you Ze right? Cool!” I follow her half light jog, half dragged. After a bit, I find myself staring down a narrow alley with lights strung on the side.

“Uh, Rosaline, are you sure this is a good place?”

“Of course! I go here all the time! Just listen to the laughter!”

I keen my senses and listen. Faint laughter and playful shouts are distant, but still there. I shrug. It can’t be that bad right?

We step into the ally and glide down the path towards who knows what.

Posted in The Guardian

The Guardians: Prologue

“Zelly dear, what poem do you want to hear today?” my mother’s soft voice called to me.

“I want to hear the Guardian prophesy again!”

“Oh dear, not that again. Dear, you can’t have your head filled with fantasy stories, when you are going to be the heir of the the Fire Clan’s royal family.

I looked up towards my mother. “Please, just this once? It’ll be the last time I ask you.”

“Alright. Well, once upon a time, there were two brother. Assa and Ulin. Assa had been born of the Ice and Fire, while Ulin has been pitifully created by shadows and air. Their father, their prophet, had always favored Assa, and with Uling being a curse to his family, was constantly jealous of his brother. With his jealousy and hatred fueling the other, he murdered his father in cold blood. But, with a dying breath, his father said:

 

Fire, Ice and Wind

Shall be joined together once more,

Once more shall darkness rise,

Combine all three and heroes arise.

Careful, take heed,

One shall stray and betray,

into the darkness.

Through pain and misery,

the fate of the world rest on the palms of three.

 

And then he died, hoping for a better future. Now go to sleep.”

I tug at my mother’s sleeve. “Do you think that the legend was real?”

“Zelly dear, we have always lived in a time on Kings and Queens. The legend is only a tale.” She scoffed. “Now go to bed, I don’t want anymore nonsense coming from you” She tucks me in, and kisses my forehead. “Good night my silly girl,” she whispers softly. I close my eyes and I’m soon asleep.

A distant memory comes to me.

My mother is there with her crimson hair knotted in a braid. It’s running past her waist. She’s lifting herself up, and her finger beckons for me to follow her. In a trace, my body is lifted up. However, I wasn’t walking, for my father was carrying me. I looks around, and find myself surrounded in a meadow full of flowers. A checkered cloth is laid before us with a large basket. We stop on the cloth, and my father lowers me, into the basket. I begin to struggle.

“Papa! Why are you doing this?” I cry.

“It’s for your own good. Be a good girl and hush.” he murmurs. He turns away, his broad back in a menacing figure. My mother’s hair is now loose, and it sways. It envelopes their bodies, and they fade. I struggle to get out of the casing, but the iron lid kept me from doing so. I feel myself sinking into a pit, the glebe begins to trickle into the case, suffocating me.

I awake to my mother screaming, and I find myself in the chest at the end of my bed. I’m crammed in with the random things in the chest.

“Where is she? Where is the girl of the prophecy?” an unfamiliar voice yells.

“I don’t know!” I hear my mother scream, and then thud.

“Come on! Search the house,” the unfamiliar voice yells. I ruffle up and take a peek. A rough hand throws open the chest, as my little head pops up.

“Ello, ello, whot do I have ere?” The lid opens, and he hauls me up, and shoves me onto the wooden floor. He pulls me by my hair.

“I have the little wretch!” the soldier yells. He pulls harder, and I grimace in pain. I thrust my hand out, and search for a sharp object. A piece of broken glass will do. I cut my hair loose, and stab his hand. He yelps in pain, and backs up. I run over to my drawers and grab my hand mirror and a necklace with a crescent moon.These were the only magical items in our house besides me. The mirror revealed a human’s true personality. The moon pendent had kept my magic under control.

I climb out the nearest window and race towards the woods. I glance back, and my eyes begin to rain. Mother. Father. I’m sorry. I continue into the forest until I’m far enough. I look back again and see a distant glow. I look forward and the sun is rising.