Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NEW Chapter 3 Part B

hey sorry about not getting this up asap... I was watching persuasion and lost track of the time... :D

Chapter 3 part B

The fires had all died down and the small trails of smoke wound lazily into the cold evening sky from the glowing embers. The children were all asleep, the song of crickets from the plains and the warm food in their bellies soothing them into sweet dreams. The world was quiet as the Archer walked slowly through the camp, tucking in an arm here, fixing a pillow there.

“Hmm. You always had a way with the small details.” The Leader spoke quietly from the shadows. “Your gonna make some man very happy some day.”

She smiled standing up, “We’ll that’s if I can find one good enough.”

He stepped forward, the moonlight illuminating his rugged features as he held out his hand. She took it lightly and they walked through the masses of sleeping children to the pass. From there they could see the entire canyon leading up to the valley. The valley itself was a basin just on the other side of the mountain, with fields of the same golden grass waving in the evening wind. Here and there large oak trees stood firm and stately, adding the only features save for the small village at the far off end. And all around the basin on the walls of the valley there were gigantic stones lying on their backs, with their faces to the valley center, gigantic runes carved in them, the shield of the valley.

“I would have liked to have everyone in the valley, but they couldn’t go any further.” He spoke softly.

“I know. You can’t blame therm. They are all still so small. Tomorrow morning they will make it through the pass and will be safe from any harm.” She said taking his arm.

“We should have brought them directly here. We would be in the valley by now.” He spoke hauntingly.

“Nothing has gone according to plan so far. That monster has never pursued us before. Never sent the Styx, or even made any attempt to find us. You had no way of knowing. The plan to keep them close to the village was good then. Now we know better.” She tried comforting him.

“I don’t know. I just feel uneasy.” He spoke looking back toward the camp.


Back at the camp, a small head of curly blonde hair woke up. Bella rubbed her large blue eyes with her small pale hands and looked to Sahrina who was still sleeping softly. She got up to go drink from the water canteens when she noticed the woods. They seemed warm and inviting to the curious girl. She began walking towards the ominous forest.

“Wow there! Hold on Bella.” said Nicholas as he grabbed her arm and directed her back towards the camp. “Where are you off to?”

“I wanted to go see the forest. Do you think there are any ponies or unicorns living in there?” she asked serious faced.

“Umm. Gee, I dunno.” Smiled Nicholas, “But what I do know is that the Leader doesn’t want anyone going in there. It looks kinda scary don’t you think?”

“Nope. I’m not afraid of the dark.” She said smiling, “I’m almost seven and a half.”

“Wow,” Nicholas said as he got down on his haunches to be at her level, “You’re really big. Well, what about this. I’ll make a deal with you. We go to the very edge and check for any unicorns. If you don’t see any we go straight back to bed. Deal?”

“Okay!” Bella said excitedly.

They walked down the gentle sloping hill, across the barren path, to the very edge of the dark woods. The ominous evergreen giants swayed gently, as the warmth radiating from within the woods made the air seem thick and heavy. He looked at her, then made a big show of scanning the darkness within.

“Well, I don’t see anything. Do you?” He said raising his shoulders.

“Wait, what’s that!” She cried excitedly. “There’s something in the bushes over there! Look its coming closer.”

Nicholas saw the swaying ferns as something crept closer and closer to them. He stepped in front of Bella, picking up a large branch to defend them with as he stood his ground, swallowing hard as it came faster. The rustling grew; Nicholas felt his heart beating in his ears, and Bella’s small hands clutching the back of his pant leg. This was it. It was within pouncing distance. Whatever it was would launch itself, fangs, teeth, and claws bared to kill. And then it jumped.

“Ahhhhh!!!!” He yelled as he swung hard at the yellowish tan shape that came out.

“Wait! Stop! Don’t hurt it!” called Bella slipping between his legs and throwing herself on it. “It’s just a puppy!”

And she spoke the truth, a young golden retriever stood before them, its large chocolate eyes sparkling with amusement, watching the stick. Nichols lowered his guard as he dropped the stick and stepped forward petting the shaggy dog’s head.

“Why hello there. And where did you come from?” He asked as the dog leapt on him and began bathing him with licks, “Wow there! Easy girl! I’m glad to meet you too!”

“I always wanted a dog! Nicholas, can I keep her!?!” Bella cried as she hugged the animal.

“Hmmm. Well, I’ll think about it. You’ll have to ask you parents when you get back but I’m sure it’ll be fine.” He was knocked over by child and dog alike as both leapt on him with barks and squeals of delight, “But! But we have to go back to camp now. We don’t want Sahrina noticing you’re gone.”


The large horde moved closer and closer, passing the standing stones the children had camped at the day before. They were making good time and the leader in his chariot calculated they would reach the camp at around sunrise. Glancing at the stars, he noted the position of several and smiled. Victory was on his side. He raised a large whip out of his chariot and snapped it in the air, willing his horde and horse onward.


Cricket song filled the quiet of the campsite. The sky had grown lighter and lighter by the hour and a faint line of light ran the distance of the eastern horizon. The small dog who had been sleeping soundly next to Bella raised her head suddenly. She let out a low growl, which stirred the young girl too.

“What is it Silver?” the name she had given the golden retriever.

The dog jumped up and ran down the incline to the path. Bella got up and scrambled after her dog. There was only one person up, Ivan of Janez. He yawned and stretched once more, trying to shake the nightmare about the gigantic golden bear that kept roaring at him to get up. He was thirsty and walked over to the canteens when he saw the dog and the little girl run towards the path, past it, and into the woods.

“Hey! Wait! Little girl come back!” he called as he pulled the black cloak about his freezing arms in the cold morning.

“Someone! There’s a girl that just ran into the woods! Wake up!”

Instantly two heads were up, Sahrina and Nicholas both seeing the empty spot by the fire. They were both up and joined by the Archer and Leader at the forest edge, where Ivan stood, still calling.

“Where’d she go?” asked Nicholas as he ran up.

“In there! She was chasing after some kind of dog. I tried stopping them but they were gone before I could reach them.” He spoke hoarsely from the calling.

“Next time try leaving your coat so you can actually run, moron!” said Sahrina venomously as she dropped to all fours and began looking for the trail of the two.

“Sahrina! Be nice!” said the Leader sternly.

“I suppose we should thank you..” Nicholas began saying to Ivan when a screech echoed through the morning light.

“Styx!? Here?” The Archer said with a look of fear in her eyes, “the children!”

And she ran back, arrows already at the ready, calling for the children to wake. The Leader watched her go and turned to the three before him quickly.

“Alright, the situation just got more complicated. You three go after her and meet us in the valley later. Defend, guide, and stay with each other. Wait in the forest until the coast is clear before following us!” and with that he ran off.


The small girl laughed as she pursued the dog. Silver would run fast ahead of her and then slow down until she almost caught her. Then the two would roll in the moss laughing and barking before the merry chase was on again. Bella had no idea the worry and stress she was causing everyone. She was simply chasing her dog.


The first Styx which had flown eagerly ahead had been slain by a well placed arrow. The Archer had roused all the children and they were already sprinting down the path towards the narrow winding canyon that led to the valley. As she was pushing them in, Sato came back and stood by her, giving her one signal.

“So the monster has come forth.”

He nodded, but as if to prove his point, several Styx screeches echoed around the group. She hurriedly pushed more children in, the screeching causing them all to realize the seriousness of the situation. As she watched the line move into the canyon, she saw the black shapes in the sky growing closer, and the column of dust heading their way.

“The children need more time.”

Sato nodded again, taking two sharp throwing knives out of the many on his belt and back. He knew what she meant. Leland was next to them, looking at the far off cloud moving closer.

“I think there are runners with them. Looks like you’ll need my help. Its been a while since I dealt with their kind but I think I can manage.” He said getting his staff ready.

“So then we just need someone to stop their leader.” Spoke the Leader from behind them, his daggers drawn.

“No! You need to take the children through, guard their backs! If even once slips past us and they’re not in the vale everything will be for nothing!” said the Archer as she let loose her first shaft, killing the over eager Styx that had flown in front. “But once they’re all safe, don’t think you can sit out. You may be the leader but you can’t get lazy now.”

“I love you Mara.” He spoke urgently as he helped the last child into the pass. “I’m coming back for you all.”

“I love you too Jullius. Good bye.”

And then he was gone. The three stood there guarding the entrance to the pass as other guardians fanned out across the path and incline, weapons ready as the column of dust moved closer. In the front, several pikemen with their long sharp spears stood ready. With a sound of angry buzzing the archers loosed volley after volley. And then there was the sickening crunch as the horde slammed into the guardians, like an ocean wave crashing over the rocks.


Bella had caught up to the dog earlier that day just before sunset. She had followed the dog to a clearing surrounded by bluish green bushes. The Silver had gone and laid down by a small pool next to a tree and a slab of moss covered granite. They reached the clearing as the final rays of the sun colored the sky pink, with the blue clouds running across it.

As the white moon rose above the tree tops in the blue sky, Silver let out a howl. As she did, the bushes around the clearing suddenly opened millions of plate sized bright pink flowers that let off a dull glow. The clearing was filled with the scent of vanilla and roses. In the pond, Bella saw large bright blue fish swimming around that also let of a soft glow. The bubbles from their mouths rose up in the water and out of the water into the air, and floated around the clearing.

Silver ran around, jumping up trying to bite the bubbles, and Bella joined in, jumping to pop the bubbles. She bumped the tree and what had looked like bark turned out to be large brown moths that had been sleeping on the tree. With a flutter of dusty wings the moths flew off, revealing their glowing purple wings.

Bella danced with the moths, the bubbles, the dog, and the moon. It seemed as if magic and music was all around her and on the air, coming from the mystical woods. Next to the stone slab she found a patch of large ripe strawberries and ate as the sweet red juice ran down her chin. Then she drank from the cool fresh pool and lay down on the soft moss. Silver lay down next to her and soon she fell asleep to the dull glow and the beating heart of her puppy.


“Poor girl, lost and alone in the woods like this.” said Ivan as he fell over another branch. “and its getting dark too. Being alone in the dark at night does not seem like a very smart thing… for a little girl to do. I mean, that’s when most things are out hunting, at night.”

“Will you stop babbling like a little baby! I’m trying to focus! And worrying about her won’t help her!” spoke Sahrina.

“Well sorry! I was just pointing out the fact that we are in a forest that, last time I checked, was a cursed place, and filled with all sort of monsters! And we’re here at night too!” His anger had surfaced really quickly from Sahrina’s cold manner.

“Hey, you two. Look at this! Its one of her bows from her hair!” spoke Nicholas as he beckoned them to him.

“Good it means we’re on the right track.” spoke Sahrina relief on her face.

“We’ll we better find her soon because she’s heading farther and farther away from the camp.” Ivan said as his brows furrowed while he focused on north and figuring out their location.

“That’s the plan. We find her… before something else does!” said Sahrina as she continued on her pursuit of the trail.


It was dark when Bella opened her eyes and felt the rhythmic swaying of horseback. She looked at the foggy world as she faintly saw the golden mare she was riding on. From somewhere around her she heard a strange song, in a language she knew but didn’t know, and her eyes grew heavy again. Bella fell asleep as the horse took her further and further away.


The three ran through a clearing with a small pool and a single tree. By the light of the lantern they saw small white flowers on the bushes, ugly brown moths on the tree, and pale bland fish in the pool. They saw the clear imprint of where Bella had slept. They also saw the dogs tracks go off into the woods, and then what looked like hoof prints come into the clearing.

They were about to follow the new trail, when they heard what sounded like a dirgefull drum beat. Voices sang from the trees a very saddening song, and the trees seemed to grow again. Nicholas felt himself suddenly grow tired. He sat down, looked over and saw Ivan already asleep on his knees with his face in the dirt and his hindquarters in the air drooling into the dust. Sahrina lay down on the moss against the tree and closed her eyes. Nicholas, felt himself slip away too.

As his eyes were closing, he vaguely saw several short figures in long light green robes walk forth and snuff out the lantern. Darkness fell with his eyelids.


And there you are! hope you enjoyed it! :D

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