Harbinger Chapter Three

Chapter Three

Ever woke up in a cold sweat and completely entwined in her blankets. Tievel’s horrific solid black eyes remained etched in her vision even as she opened her own eyes. She could see his ghastly smile which curled up and showed off his obscenely white teeth. In this moment she still felt his serpent tongue tasting across her skin moving from the base of her throat, down across her clavicle bone and slipping lower and lower. His big ravenous hands kept tugging and forcing her where they wanted leaving scratches and bruises in their wake. She felt asphyxiated by the weight of his body. Her arms thrashed as she tried to scream through the gag across her mouth. “Be still, my pet”. His words echoed in a growl through her head. Her skin threatened to vacate her body in revulsion.

Ever sat up and took in a few hoarse gulps of air. Her throat felt like she had been trying to scream for hours, but the scream kept staying jammed. She disentangled herself from the now soaking wet blankets and stood up on shaky legs. The white cloth slip she wore stayed plastered against her body. She wobbled to the front of her tent. Her breathing still came like air over broken glass, and she stumbled trying to get outside her tent.

Winmund, stationed outside her tent, caught her in time. “Be careful, Ever!” he chortled and then saw that she was only in her slip and then the look on her face.  He immediately shut up.

Ev’er just stared at him. Tendrils of panic and revulsion roiled through her. Bile formed at the back of her throat.

“Um…What’s the matter? Are you, uh, feverish?”

“Nightmare.” She croaked and then proceeded to vomit near his shoes.

His eyes widened as he leapt back. “Letmegetyouwaterfromthestream.” He moved in to grab her again as she almost collapsed and leaned her against the tree next to her tent. “Stay here, I’ll be right back Princess.” He ran away.

Ev’er didn’t attempt to correct him before he left, she was too busy holding onto the tree fiercely. She feared she’d fall over.

When Winmund brought back the large crude cup fashioned out of a fallen Quaalux tree, she yanked the cup away and took the water in greedy swigs. Twice she choked, once she belched, but she kept the water down.

Winmund’s whole face scrunched with concern. “Uh…Do you need, Akiya?:

“No,” She said between slopping. “I’m ok.”

He narrowed his eyes, but didn’t press the matter, and brought her two more cupfulls.

When Ever felt her throat return to normal, and the tendrils receded, she handed Winmund the cup. “Sorry about that, Win.”

“Quite, alright, Princess.”

“Win.” She glared a little.

“I mean, Evie.” He gave her a small smile. “You ok now?”

“Yeah.” The eyes were gone and so were the hands. Her skin was happy to be with her for now. “It’s just been a long time since I’ve had that particular nightmare.” A nightmare based on truth.

Ev’er’s mind wandered back to the days before she fled the castle.

 

*****

“Princess, be careful!” Cáel shouted as Ev’er slipped marching up the stairs to see her uncle. He caught her elbow and steadied her.

A rush flitted through her from his touch and she sent a prayer that her pale face didn’t give her away. “Thank you.” She turned to smile at him. It was this stupid dress that made her slip. A forest green silk ball gown stretched over a wire cage to make it round and was covered in rhinestones. I could blind someone in the sunlight. Gold thread made intricate loops and whirls over the skirt and tied on gold roses across the top of the off shoulder bodice.

Cáel’s smile matched hers and lit up his whole exceedingly gorgeous face. His warm copper eyes flecked with brown were brought out by his dark cyan braid that swished by the back of his knees. In most situations they were empty and dark, but with friends they lit up and with Ever nearly glowed. He stood at 6’2 with a sculpted midsection and long sinewy limbs. His flawless tan skin was only interrupted by a swirl of intricate purple lines around his right arm and a matching set along the left side of his face. Her uncle had found Cáel after he raided a butcher shop of an enemy village. He had been the head of her father’s army before her parents died. (She was told they died from a Kex attack when they went flower picking.) Haestingas had killed all the workers in the butcher shop to steal all the meat, and then suddenly heard the cries of a baby. He had planned to kill the infant, but Cáel was a very big and strong looking baby. He took that baby in and had one of the maids raise him to fight.  Ever came along a few years later and as she grew up, they became playmates.

Cáel currently belonged to her uncle’s army. He trained some of the younger men in hand-to-hand combat and quarterstaff fighting. Cáel was quite skilled and her uncle boasted of his talents. For weeks now though, he had been secretly training Ever.

Ev’er had to shake her head to clear her thoughts and focus on the task at hand. Her uncle had summoned her to his meeting hall, but as her king. “I must hurry.”

Cáel nodded and let her elbow go. An encouraging smile stayed on his face until she yanked her gaze away.

She lifted the ends of her ridiculous dress and clacked down the hall on too-high green heels. I would kill for a pair of boots right now. She paused to brush away a ringlet that had fallen over one eye. The ladies-in-waiting had spent hours curling her long white lockes and about an hour making up her face. Ev’er huffed and then made it to the door.

The guard barely glanced at her as he opened the door and announced, “Ever to see The Great King Haestingas.”

 

Great? HAH. Ev’er put on her political face and walked toward the grand cherry wood table in the center of the room. A feast had been laid out along with wine and ale. Uncle must be planning a large meeting or some sort of celebration. Everything smelled delicious, but an undercurrent of copper tanged the air. Blood had spilled in this room a few times.

The room’s stone walls were covered in paintings and tapestries depicting battle scenes from her uncle’s reign. Most of them were thick with red and guts. Her uncle liked the gore. An overly large painting of her uncle standing in battle armor with a sword in front of him hung on the far wall. The artist accurately captured his eyes which are the color of purple bruises and the fall of his white braid. Candles in ornate iron sconces hung evenly spaced along every wall and gave the room a cheery glow.

When she reached the table, she was surprised to see another man sitting there.

His black eyes narrowed in his ghost pale face. It was all hard planes and severe angles. Ever thought he could cut someone with his cheekbones. A deadly looking scar crossed almost diagonally across his face, barely missing his right eye. His shoulders were too broad and his arms too big. More scars covered his bare arms and a few peaked out of his billowing white shirt. He looked like he’d been cobbled together by a demented scientist. He bit his thin lower lip and a hungry glow slid into his dark eyes.

Ev’er tried not to shudder.

“Princess.” Her uncle’s voiced boomed in the silence.

She wrenched her eyes away from the unknown man and looked to her uncle.

He crossed his burly arms over his chest, or at least he tried too. Haestingas looked like he had swallowed a Kaai Demon or two since that painting was crafted. Whole. His chin jiggled when he spoke. “This,” he uncrossed one arm covered in battle scars to clap it on to the other man’s shoulder. “Is Tievel.”

Tievel stood up and towered over her uncle, which at 6’4 was impressive. The white shirt covered the top of his gray pants made out of Taalik hide and they left almost nothing to the imagination. He held out his hand.

Ev’er held out her hand gingerly and averted her eyes from his crotch.

Tievel took it roughly and laid a kiss to the back of it. She looked back at him to be polite and as his lips pressed against her, his eyes rolled up to watch her. The look in his eyes seemed to be telling her he wanted to have her for dinner instead of this feast.

She kept her face blank, but inside she was screaming in horror.

He held her hand a little too long before dropping it.

Ev’er had to control herself before she wiped her hand on her skirt. She clasped her hands behind her back which inadvertently thrust up her breasts.

Tievel looked at them like he might start to drool.

Ev’er relaxed her posture and moved behind one of the tall chairs. She cleared her throat. “Why is it that you’ve summoned me, uncle?” Maybe if I remind him of our blood relationship he will make this quicker.

“Ah, yes.” Her uncle chuckled to himself. “You know for quite some time there has been a dwindling in our numbers.”

“Yes, uncle.” Of course Ev’er knew this. Every year, less and less babies were being born in Bledgore Realm—her uncle’s kingdom. Rumor had it that the cause was her uncle’s ruthless running of the land, but no one obviously would confirm this for fear of death. He had also not taken on a Queen which hadn’t happened in 2,000 years.

“Well, I’ve called in the royal Harbinger because she said she’s had a prediction that someone among us is very fertile.”

Ev’er’s eyes widened, but she waited for him to continue.

“She’s gone through all of the villages, the maids, the cooks, and your ladies-in-waiting. So the only logical conclusion is it must be you.” A smile broke across his wide face and somehow lit up his bruised eyes.

Her mouth fell open and she blinked a few dozen times. Nothing but static ran through her mind.

“Bring her in!” Haestingas bellowed.

A moment later the door creaked open and the staccato clacking of heels could be heard behind them.

Ev’er turned to see the woman entering and was surprised. She had been picturing a ragged old woman full of as much wisdom as she had wrinkles.

A very tall, likely 6’3 which was unusual for female faeries, lithe young woman was walking toward them. Her violet hair piled on her deeply tanned head in complicated curls and braids. Her flawless face rivaled Ever’s beauty. Silver eyes were lined in orange glitter and her full mouth was painted goozaa berry red. Fiery orange silk clung to her curves in almost inappropriate seduction and fell to her ankles. Her deeply tanned breasts fought the top of the dress and seemed like they’d win at any second. Black stiletto heels that looked like they could double for weapons in a pinch carried her towards them. She gave Ever a cursory once over and then curtsied deeply. “My King.” Her voice sounded softer than the silk she wore and had an edge of a Kex’s purr to it.

Her uncle looked most pleased. “Tievel, princess, this is Myat, the Harbinger.”

Tievel—whose eyes had been glued to Ev’er—looked Myat over in appreciation and then nodded. “Myat.”

Ev’er nodded as well and managed to give her a pleasant fake smile. “A pleasure to meet you, Myat.”

Myat stood up. “Oh, the pleasure is all mine, Princess.” She purred.

Ev’er immediately disliked her.

The barest hint of a smirk flashed across Myat’s face. She must have seen the contempt Ev’er tried to hide.

Haestingas didn’t seem to notice. “Please, Myat, have a drink or some fruit and then you can begin.”

“Thank you, my King.”

Ev’er really did not like the way Myat said “My King.”

Myat walked over to pour a glass of wine and took a delicate sip before setting it down. “Refreshing.” She leaned across the table instead of moving around and showed too much cleavage as she reached for a green graap.

Suddenly Ev’er could have stripped naked and did a little dance for all the men were paying attention to her.

Myat bit into the small fruit and some of the juice ran down her chin. “Oh my!”

Tievel slammed back into his seat and her uncle was in danger of cracking the table in his grip.

Ev’er made a disgusted noise. Men.

Myat ate three more graaps and drank the rest of her wine. “Thank you ever so much, My King.” She gave him a tantalizing smile full of tiny white teeth. “Now, to begin.” She pulled out a gray pouch from somewhere and walked toward Ever.

Ev’er turned to her and stood still.

Myat pulled an odd looking circular object on a gold chain from the pouch. It had complex gears and pieces forming strange patterns Ev’er couldn’t quite get her mind to wrap around. It glowed an eerie green when Myat held it in her hand. “This is an Obex.” She smiled. “It helps me tell the future.

Ev’er just stared. What in the name of Arron?

“Give me your hand please, Princess.” Myat held out her empty hand.

Still staring in awe, Ev’er complied.

Myat held Ever’s hand in her free one and then held up the Obex with the other. She let it drop to hover over Ev’er’s hand at the end of the chain. She whispered, “Baanparad.”

For a second nothing happened and then Ev’er nearly went blind from the burst of light. When her eyes cleared, she could see Myat had looked away.

She gave a sheepish grin. “Sorry, Princess. Forgot to warn you.”

“Not a problem.” I’m sure you did.

“You can watch this time.” She gave a soft chuckle that sounded like tinkling chimes. “Baanparados,” Myat whispered.

The glow was considerably less this time and then the Obex began to move. The gears and other pieces rotated and shifted slowly at first and then they began to move so fast they blurred.

Ev’er stared intently at it.

After perhaps two or three minutes, although Ever would swear it was an eternity, the glow died down and a bubble floated up. Inside the bubble were malformed shapes. Then suddenly the shapes changed and clarified.

Ev’er gasped. All the little shapes, there must have been at least 5, had formed into babies.

“I knew it!” Myat cried out in triumph. That was the loudest Ever had heard her.

“By my goddess Melaena, is it true?”

Ever jumped when her uncle spoke. She had forgotten they weren’t alone.

“Yes, My King.” Myat seemed ever-so-pleased. “At least five babies. Very fertile indeed.”

Her uncle laughed and the plates and glasses shook. “Excellent!”

Tievel stood once again. A cruel looking smile cracked across his face. “This is most wonderful news, My King.”

“Oh! But the best news is to come for my darling niece.” He chortled.

Ever slid her glance sideways. “Uncle?”

“With this good fortune I have cemented my decision”

Ev’er did not like the sound of this. “May I ask what decision, uncle Haestingas?” Please don’t tell me.

“Why to arrange your marriage to my good man, Tievel of course!”

Surely she had misheard him. “Excuse me?” She was so surprised she left off any title.

Her uncle didn’t seem to notice. “It’s perfect really. He is one of my greatest warriors and Myat has already foretold he will sire many children. So in two weeks’ time we will have a wedding and then by the end of the winter we will have a baby or two! Hazzah!” He clapped Tievel on the shoulder and then shook his hand heartily.

The two men laughed and Myat got caught up and giggled.

Something shattered in Ev’er’s head and the edges of her vision blurred. Then her eyes narrowed and her voice could freeze a lake when she spoke. “No.”

Her uncle laughed and then saw her face. “No?”

“No, My King.” Ev’er repeated.

“That’s right, I am your king. You will not tell me no. You will obey all that I say and all that I wish! You have no choice!” His voice grew louder with each sentence until Kaai Demons may have cowered in fear.

Ev’er just looked at him in defiance. “I won’t do this. Mama and Papa would have never allowed this.”

“Well they’re dead and I’m in charge!” Everything on the table rattled and Myat’s wine glass vibrated off the table and shattered on the floor.

Hot tears burned angry tracks through the thick make-up on Ev’er’s face. “You can’t do this.” She cursed herself that her voice wavered.

“By Melaena’s tits I can’t!” He used the power of his mind to chuck two plates at her.

Ev’er ducked the first plate and turned away so the second hit her square in the back and sent her sprawling across the floor.

“Get OUT.”

A maid rushed to her aid and helped her up.

Ev’er’s palms stung and she looked down to see scrapes from the stone floor.

Myat gave her a cruel smirk as Ever exited the room.

Harbinger Chapter Two

Chapter Two

“Good Goddess!” Akiya Paion exclaimed when Ev’er arrived.

Akiya, Ev’er, and a few other escapees from her uncle’s kingdom had made a small base camp in the far north of the Ethovaak Mountains. Two light brown tents that fit up to five people and one green tent that held eight dotted the mountainous area. A few green bushes and trees surrounded the green tent. From the air, the tents would blend in.

Akiya tucked a stray locke of cotton candy colored hair behind one long pointed ear. She then stood there in her silvery cotton dress that swirled around her ankles and wrung her caramel hands. “I told you this was a bad idea, Princess.” The laugh lines around her diamond like eyes turned into worry creases as she chewed her full lower lip.

Akiya was still the only one Ev’er allowed to call her Princess.  To the rest she was simply Evie.

“I know.” Ev’er’s voice waivered as she dismounted.

Although Akiya had just a few years on Ev’er, her voice came from an ancient world. “Come here and let me see you better.” She opened her arms and took a step forward in her taupe leather boots.

Ev’er shuffled toward Akiya with her head lowered. I hate disappointing her.

The healer wrinkled her nose at the rankness, but didn’t comment on it as she took Ev’er’s left arm in her deft hands and looked at the wound. She sucked air through her pearlescent teeth a few times and Ev’er knew the damage was great. Akiya usually kept comments to herself.

“That bad, huh?”

“Some of the worst you’ve had, Princess.”

“Fantastic.”

Akiya squinted at Ev’er for a second before returning her attention to the wound.

Ev’er shut up.

“I need you to wash up to really assess the damage.” She poked at the gaping toward Ev’er’s wrist, eliciting a strangled cry from her.  Blood welled up again. “Off you go, Princess.”

Ev’er covered her left forearm with her free hand and meandered along the path behind Akiya to the very large Kiaax Lake on the other side of an enormous granite boulder.

She passed Phelan with his wild buttercup yellow curls and one stormy gray eye (the other he lost in a fight he refused to discuss and covered with a simple black patch) as he sharpened some wooden arrows. His black tunic’s seams threatened to burst when he moved from all his muscle. Dark black trousers covered most of his even darker “ass-kicking” boots (as he liked to call them). He didn’t glance up from his work, but grunted an acknowledgment.

Across from him – working on some kind of aromatic stew—the portly Quinlin sat in a blue tunic with black trousers and gray all-terrain boots. Upon seeing Ev’er, he rubbed his bald head, crinkled his jolly blue-green eyes into a smile, and waived. “Taalik stew when you’re clean, Evie.” His voice rumbled and made his belly shake.

Ev’er waived back.

As Ev’er walked away, Akiya watched her for a moment and shook her pink head. Then she tied up Thaak next to her own blue Ombre colored horse named Taacnos and ducked into the green tent.

Ev’er tried to keep from leaving droplets as she reached the lake.

Sunlight fell freely over the bright green lake with no clouds in the mint sky to block the way. Medaaf trees –full, wide, and deep fatigue green with millions of extra tiny leaves– lined the shore. Their tall stature made long uneven shadows across the rippling water. The Ethovaak Mountains could be seen across the lake and were so tall they almost blocked the sun hanging high in the sky.

An orchestra of bird calls from Kipple birds, the fiery red and black Kaaza birds and the emerald and aquamarine Gemik birds blended into a beautiful white noise. The air smelled scrubbed fresh and clean as it came across the lake on a cool breeze.

Ev’er kneeled down at the edge of the water and gingerly put her arm in. The cool water felt surprisingly refreshing. She grinned to herself and then noticed her face in the water. Black streaks and splatters crossed most of her pale face and ran down her arms. The cut across her pale cheek from the Kaai demon tail was raw and inflamed. Her eyes looked back at her in a haunting stare. “No wonder Akiya looked worried.”

Phelan was a guard to her late father and Quinlin was one of the chefs. When her uncle took over 44 years ago–after her parents died when she was ten– he started ruling with fear and bloodshed. Her appearance obviously left the men non-plussed.

She washed her face and then put her arm back in the water. Once the bleeding slowed, she stripped out of her sticky dress and unzipped her boots.

A fresh olive green tunic had been laid out for her on a small part of the rock along with a bandage and fresh black boots. Akiya, like most healers, could sense impending doom.

Ev’er gingerly wrapped her arm. She set aside her weapons and glanced around. Coast clear.

Ev’er slipped into the cool water that went to her waist and started washing up. Her body, though long and lean with ample breasts and small hips, was littered with battle scars. They crisscrossed her back, her stomach, her shoulders and her chest. In the 18 months since she’d been on the run from the royal guard and her ex-betrothed Teivel the Depraved’s people, Ev’er’s blemish free skin became the story of her journey. A particularly nasty scar had been left right at the start from the forcible removal of the RFID chip in her upper arm. It had been placed there, just like it was placed in every sentient beings’ arm in this world of Ethovaa, at her birth and contained not only info about her but a way to locate her. The rest of the camp had similar scars.

She undid her braid and untangled her wavy white lockes with her fingers–which was difficult without a brush–after washing them.

Ev’er took a moment to revel in the warmth of the sun and just to be alive.

A snapping noise startled Ev’er and she turned to the shore.

She heard a muttered curse from a male voice and ducked into the water with just her head out. “Who’s there?” Ev’er braved calling out. My weapons are on shore, dammit.

Winmund stepped out from behind the boulder with his dark cheeks somehow enflamed and his hands held up. “Uh, just me, Princess…I mean Ev’er.” Winmund stood at 6’4 with hip length deep black hair he kept in a tight braid and tilted brown eyes that he lined with kohl like his Egyptian ancestors use to. His background was human and faerie mixed. A black tunic cinched at his small waist and green leather pants contrasted against his brown Taalik skin boots. “Uh, sorry.” He covered his eyes. Winmund was great with a broad sword or a plasma gun, a bow and arrow or an energy spell, great to keep your back in a fight, but not so great with the female species.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Win?”

“N-nothing.” He winced. “I mean-um.” Winmund paused.

“Well?”

He cleared his throat and tried again. “Akiya was worried you were taking too long, so she sent me.”

“Tell her I’ll be out in a moment,” Ev’er yelled. “As soon as I get dressed.”

Winmund fell all over himself trying to back up and leave. “Yes, Princess… I mean Ev’er!”

Ev’er chuckled to herself and made her way to shore.

Harbinger Chapter One

The first chapter of my novel-in-progress Harbinger. It used to be titled The Maavaistra Spell.
This is a Science Fantasy Novel that takes place on my imagined planet (Ethovaa) called Harbinger about a bad-ass faerie princess named Ev’er Rose on the run from her blood-thirsty uncle (who is also king), the man he arranged her to marry (who might be even more evil) and their deadly armies. The royal harbinger has foretold she is very fertile and will bring many children to the realm–and of course Ever doesn’t want to do this– so she escapes. She also must deal with all manner of lethal forest and mountain creatures. Not to mention on Ethovaa it is blizzard-like conditions 10 out of 12 months of the year.

Chapter One

Being a real faerie princess is not what every little girl actually dreams of, Ev’er Rose thought as the crimson Kaai demon attempted to suck the marrow from her right forearm. Little girls thought of big gorgeous ball gowns, tiaras, glittering wings to fly on and handsome prince charmings to whisk them away. Certainly there were no massive and blood-thirsty underworld spawn in those visions. Ev’er would laugh to herself about this if she wasn’t holding back a scream of pain. She raised her plasma 6-shooter and blasted the demon right between two of its four glowing lime eyes, covering her even more in the stench of something somehow worse than decaying human bodies left to ripen in the sun. Kaai demon blood wreaked the most of all the forest creatures. “Ugh!” Ev’er used her free hand to wipe some of the black blood out of one of her lavender edged gold eyes.

Immediately she had to duck the pouncing attack of another Kaai demon. That one got a blast to the back of its elongated oval head as soon as the demon landed. The tail whipped back at her in a last death throe—jarring her and sending her black & silver hunting bow flying– and the jagged scales cut across her cheek. “Fuck, even dead you all suck.”

The two shots had echoed out in the clearing of the forest lit with summer sun. A gathering of Kipple birds took flight– from dark olive Quaalox trees with star-like leaves– their tangerine and violet wings picking up a cool breeze.

Ev’er glanced at the birds for a second, wishing she could escape with them.

A third Kaai demon hissed from her right and she turned to aim her gun at its forehead.

The demon crouched on all fours for a moment with its razor-like knees and elbows tightening to launch. Even crouched, it towered over her 5’2 frame. Long pointed ears twitched as it listened.

“I don’t think so!” She clicked the trigger and nothing happened. “Shit!”

A reptilian grin gaped across its face exposing glistening fangs. Its tail spasmed with excitement as the demon leapt toward her.

She reloaded faster than she ever had before and managed to get a shot off right as the Kaai demon was upon her.

The demon exploded in a disgusting mess of blood, bone and tissues all over her.

She tried to sit up but the weight and caustic odor held her down. “Mother fucker!” She pushed off the bigger chunks and stood up, dripping, and began scanning the wide clearing, she had entered too hunt, for any other demons. Kaai demons loved to travel in packs. Her once-grey dress, with long tight sleeves and laced up the back,  stuck to her skin in too many places as she moved slowly around with her gun ready to fire at anything that so much as looked wrong. The heat was making the smell worse, but the scent fell to the back of her mind. Ev’er panted from the fight and her heart still pounded a crazy jungle beat full of adrenaline.

The area was silent, but nothing seemed eerie or ominous about it. Not much space in this clearing of The Darjaanx Forest at the bottom of the same-named mountain. Quaalox trees were tightly packed together at the edges of this area and little bushes dotted here and there.

She twirled around when she heard a rustling but it was nothing more a stale breeze blowing over a poisonous red Goozaa berry bush.

After perhaps 15 minutes, her injured arm started to shake from holding up her gun. Nothing else seemed to be coming for her. She holstered her weapon and looked down at her forearm. She tore off what was left of her wrist guard—which apparently is no use to prevent Kaai demon fangs from ripping up your flesh—and beneath the drying black blood she could see the shredded skin and muscle. “Akiya is going to have a field day figuring out how to fix that one,” Ev’er muttered to herself. Just add it to my list of other angry scars. Thank Arron the Kaai demon loves to suck your insides out instead of swallowing you whole. It is large enough. Ev’er tore the bottom of her tunic in a spot that had remained mostly black death free and wrapped her injury with it and then her hand-woven leather belt to prevent bleeding out on the walk. She didn’t want people chuckling over her death because she’d been stupid. Ev’er thought that might be something crazy to think about. Maybe it’s shock? The adrenaline finished seeping away though and brought sharp agony in its place.

Fantastic. She huffed, flicked her bloody white braid over her left shoulder, and walked over to pick up her black and silver bow. She dusted it off, slung it back into its proper place, and walked back through the trees towards the fence as her thigh-high leather boots snapped twigs beneath her feet. She didn’t care at the moment if she was making too much noise. She was pissed. Her quiver bounced on her back in a comforting rhythm, jostling the hand crafted arrows inside, and she finally slowed her pace. “Just out to hunt up some dinner, but noooo, I can’t go darkness damned anywhere,” she snarled.

Sunlight sparkled down from the mint green skies through the Quaalux trees which were so tall they looked like they kissed the sky and lit the path in cheer.  Some of their star-like dark olive leaves tumbled down in a whirling breeze past their intricately lined trunks.

Small Kipple birds called symphonies to each other from their long pointed beaks while fat Mikkels with big bushy tails, and large tufted ears raced to-and-fro across tree branches in little brown blurs. None of the birds in Darjaanx forest were really cameras. Those birds resided only on the massive land mass of Bledgore Real and not on the continent-like Thrim.

Summer blooms in a wide range of vibrant colors and shapes ran hazily past Ev’er. She slowed down and tried to avoid stomping. All the splendor of the forest’s flora would never allow you to be annoyed so long.

She turned her face to the sun and basked a bit in the warmth that touched the cleaner parts of her skin. I need a bath, she caught a whiff of herself as a cool breeze tickled her pointed ears, or maybe three. This sun wouldn’t last too much longer she knew. In Ethovaa there was only two months of summer and that meant only two months of respite from the bitter mistress that was the winters. Temperatures went from about 60 degrees and plummeted down to at least negative thirty. A small shiver passed through Ev’er just thinking about it.

A large branch breaking to her left caught her attention. She unholstered her plasma 6-shooter from her left hip and turned to look.

A Taalik—a brown and white deer-like creature with velvety antlers– stood on four spindly legs with tiny hooves and stared at her with its impossibly large blue eyes. Its short snout wiggled as the rest of it stayed so still.

Ev’er sighed with relief and changed out her gun for her bow and arrow. The bow felt solid and like second nature in her calloused hands. She took aim and as she went to release the arrow, she heard a piercing screech and suddenly a Kaai demon dove on the Taalik. Ev’er gasped and quickly put her bow back as the Kaai demon occupied itself with tearing the Taalik’s throat out. Blue blood splashed out onto the moss covered forest floor as Ev’er stood still for a moment and sent a prayer to the God of Light Arron and hoped he was listening. Then she sprinted the rest of the way through trees, not stopping until she reached the reinforced steel electric fence. Kaai demon eating my arm? It’ gotta die. Trying to launch a marrow-sucking pounce? Still gotta die. Ignoring me for a succulent Taalik meat? I’m the fuck outta here! The Quaalux trees streamed past her and a few skinny branches snapped at her face and snagged at her tunic, but she kept up the pace.

When she reached the gate, Ev’er typed Akiya’s code in the keypad with haste, slipped through and closed the gate behind her. The Darjaanx Forest was not a part of her Uncle Hastingas the Tortious’s land, but she didn’t want to take the chance of him tracking their entry codes. Ev’er never used her own, but cycled through her groups, and some of the guards’ codes she memorized. The Taalik were kept in gated off sanctuaries like this one, and were hard to come by, so the Rex sometimes monitored the comings and goings of people in other forests. Ev’er didn’t dare use one of the Rex’s sanctuaries as those gates required hand print and eye scans. Killing someone and using their hands and eyeballs just didn’t seem appealing in the least.

She let out a breath she hadn’t noticed she held as she put her forehead to the cool steel. Shudders ran through her whole body as Ev’er breathed deep and slow, trying to calm her heart.

As soon as her heart returned to normal, a thunderous wave of nausea hit her. She stooped over with her hands on her knees and retched until nothing was left.

Her forearm started to throb. “Yeah, yeah, I know you’re there.” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she turned away from the gate and made it to her horse, Thaak.

Horses here in Ehtovaa were like most in the human world except they had fur instead of hair and came in many more exotic colors.

Thaak had golden zebra striped fur. He stood tied to a wrought iron light post in the open, but actually had been bespelled to be invisible to everyone but her.

Ev’er put her hand on his flank and whispered, “Vaalmya”. He was now visible to all. Luckily one didn’t need a kibaan stone to break the spell. Goddess only knew where that had ended up.

She mounted Thaak’s broad back and took the reins in her good hand. Ev’er shouted, “Yah, Thaak!” and he jumped into a break neck gallop.

Chapter two isn’t as edited, but there are still changes.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

“Good Goddess!” Akiya Paion exclaimed when August arrived. 

Akiya, August and a few others had made a small base camp in the far north of the mountains. Two light brown tents that fit up to five people and one green tent that held eight dotted a mostly barren desert area. A few green bushes and trees surrounded the green tent. From the air, the tents would blend in.

Akiya tucked a stray locke of cotton candy colored hair behind one pointed ear and then stood there and wrung her caramel hands. “I told you this was a bad idea, Princess.” The laugh lines around her diamond like eyes turned into worry creases as she chewed her full lower lip.

Akiya was still the only one August allowed to call her Princess.  To the rest she was simply August.

“I know.” August’s voice waivered as she dismounted.

Although Akiya had just a few years on August, her voice came from an ancient world. “Come here and let me see you better.” She opened her arms in her silvery tunic and took a step forward in her black boots.

August shuffled toward Akiya with her head lowered. I hate disappointing her.

The healer wrinkled her noise at the rankness, but didn’t comment on it as she took August’s left arm in her deft hands and looked at the wound. She sucked air through her teeth a few times and August knew the damage was great. Akiya usually kept comments to herself.

“That bad, huh?”

“Some of the worst you’ve had, Princess.”

“Fantastic.”

Akiya squinted at August for a second before returning her attention to the wound.

August shut up.

“I need you to wash up to really assess the damage.” She poked at the gaping toward her wrist, eliciting a strangled cry from August.  Blood welled up again. “Off you go, Princess.”

August covered her left forearm with her free hand and meandered along the path behind Akiya to the shallow stream behind the enormous granite boulder.

She passed Phelan with his wild buttercup yellow curls and one stormy gray eye (the other he lost in a fight and covered with a simple black patch) as he sharpened some arrows. His black tunics seams threatened to burst when he moved from all his muscle. He didn’t glance up from his work, but grunted an acknowledgment.

Across from him – working on some kind of stew—the portly Quinlin sat in a blue tunic. Upon seeing August, he rubbed his bald head, crinkled his jolly blue eyes into a smile, and waived.

August waived back.

As August walked away, Akiya tied up Thak next to her own blue Ombre colored horse named Taacnos and ducked into the green tent.

August tried to keep from leaving droplets as she reached the stream. She kneeled down at the edge of the water and gingerly put her arm in. The cool water felt surprisingly refreshing. August grinned to herself and then noticed her face in the water. Black streaks and splatters crossed most of her pale face and ran down her arms. The cut across her cheek from the Kaai demon tail was raw and inflamed. Her eyes looked back at her in a haunting stare. “No wonder Akiya looked worried.” She washed her face and then put her arm back in the water. Once the bleeding slowed, she stripped out of her sticky tunic and unzipped her boots.

A fresh olive green tunic had been laid out for her on a small part of the rock. Akiya, like most healers, could sense impending doom.

She set aside her weapons and glanced around. Coast clear.

August slipped into the cool water that went to her waist and started washing up. Her body, though long and lean with ample breasts and small hips, was littered with battle scars. They crisscrossed her back, her stomach, her shoulders and her chest. In the two years since she’d been on the run, August’s blemish free skin became the story of her journey.

She undid her braid and untangled her white lockes with her fingers the best she could after washing them.

August took a moment to revel in the warmth of the sun and just to be alive.

A snapping noise startled August and she turned to the shore.

She heard a muttered curse from a male voice and ducked into the water with just her head out. “Who’s there?” August braved calling out. My weapons are on shore, dammit.

Fineas stepped out from behind the boulder with his dark cheeks somehow enflamed and his hands held up. “Uh, just me, Princess…I mean August.” Fineas stood at 6’4 with hip length deep black hair he kept in a tight braid and tilted brown eyes that he lined with kohl like his Egyptian ancestors use to. A black tunic cinched at his small waist. “Uh, sorry.” He covered his eyes. Fineas was great with a broad sword or a plasma gun, a bow and arrow or an energy spell, great to keep your back in a fight, but not so great with the female species.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Fin?”

“N-nothing.” He winced. “I mean-um.” Fineas paused.

“Well?”

He cleared his throat and tried again. “Akiya was worried you were taking too long, so she sent me.”

“Tell her I’ll be out in a moment,” August yelled. “As soon as I get dressed.”

Fineas fell all over himself trying to back up and leave. “Yes, Princess… I mean August!”

August chuckled to herself and made her way to shore.

The Maavaistra Spell Chapter Two

The Maavaistra Spell Chapter One

This is my science fantasy about August Wysteria. I now have a title and a more general plot (to be shared as soon as I polish it). Did some editing of the first and second chapter.

Chapter One

Being a real faerie princess is not what every little girl actually dreams of, August Wysteria thought as the crimson Kaai demon attempted to suck the marrow from her right forearm. Little girls thought of big gorgeous ball gowns, tiaras, glittering wings to fly on and handsome prince charmings to whisk them away. Certainly there were no massive and blood-thirsty underworld spawn in those visions. August would laugh to herself about this if she wasn’t holding back a scream of pain. She raised her plasma 6-shooter and blasted the demon right between two of its four glowing lime eyes, effectively covering her even more in the stench of something somehow worse than decaying human bodies left to ripen in the sun. Kaai demon blood wreaked the most of all the forest creatures. “Ugh!” August used her free hand to wipe some of the black blood out of one of her lavender edged gold eyes. Immediately she had to duck the pouncing attack of another Kaai demon. That one got a blast to the back of its elongated oval head as soon as it landed. The tail whipped back at her in a last death throe and the jagged scales cut across her cheek. “Fuck, even dead you all suck.”

The two shots had echoed out in the clearing of the forest lit with summer sun. A gathering of Kipple birds took flight– from dark olive Qualox trees– with their tangerine and violet wings picking up a cool breeze.

August glanced at the birds for a second, wishing she could escape with them.

A third Kaai demon hissed from her right and she turned to aim her gun at it.

The demon crouched on all fours for a moment with its razor-like knees and elbows tightening to launch. Even crouched, it towered over her 5’2 frame. Long pointed ears twitched as it listened.

“I don’t think so!” She clicked the trigger and nothing happened. “Shit!”

A reptilian grin gaped across its face exposing glistening fangs. Its tail spasmed with excitement as it leapt toward her.

She reloaded faster than she ever had before and managed to get a shot off just as the Kaai demon was upon her.

It exploded in a disgusting mess of blood, bone and tissues all over her.

She tried to sit up but the weight and caustic odor held her down. “Mother fucker!” She pushed off the bigger chunks and stood up, dripping, and began scanning the wide clearing she had entered too hunt for any other demons. Kaai demons loved to travel in packs. Her once-grey tunic stuck to her skin in too many places as she moved slowly around with her gun ready to fire at anything that so much as looked wrong. The heat was making the smell worse, but it fell to the back of her mind. August panted from the fight, but her heart still pounded a crazy jungle beat full of adrenaline.

The area was silent, but nothing seemed eerie or ominous about it. She twirled around when she heard a rustling but it was just a stale breeze blowing over a red Gooza berry bush.

After perhaps 15 minutes her injured arm started to shake from holding up her gun. Nothing else seemed to be coming for her. She holstered her weapon and looked down at her forearm. She tore off what was left of her wrist guard—which apparently is no use to prevent Kaai demon fangs from ripping up your flesh—and beneath the drying black blood she could see the shredded skin and muscle. “Akiya is going to have a field day figuring out how to fix that one,” August muttered to herself. Just add it to my list of other angry scars. Thank Goddess it loves to suck your insides out instead of swallowing you whole. It certainly is large enough. August tore the bottom of her tunic in a spot that had remained mostly black death free and wrapped her injury to prevent bleeding out on the walk. She didn’t want people chuckling over her death because she’d been stupid. August thought that might be something crazy to think about. Maybe it’s shock? The adrenaline finished seeping away though and brought sharp agony in its place.

Fantastic. She huffed, flicked her bloody white braid over her left shoulder, and picked up her black and silver bow that had gone flying in the attack. She slung it back into its proper place and walked back through the trees towards the fence as her thigh-high leather boots snapped twigs beneath her feet. She didn’t care at the moment if she was making too much noise. She was pissed. Her quiver bounced on her back in a comforting rhythm, jostling the hand crafted arrows inside, and she finally slowed her pace. “Just out to hunt up some dinner, but noooo, I can’t go Goddess damned anywhere,” she snarled.

Sunlight sparkled through the Qualux trees which were so tall they looked like they kissed the sky and lit the path in cheer.

Small Kipple birds called symphonies to each other from their long pointed beaks while fat Mikkels with big bushy tails, and large tufted ears raced to-and-fro across tree branches.

Summer blooms in a wide range of vibrant colors and shapes blurred past August and she slowed down and tried to avoid stomping. It remained hard to be so annoyed in all the splendor of the forest.

She turned her face to the sun and basked a bit in the warmth that touched the cleaner parts of her skin. I need a bath, she caught a whiff of herself as a cool breeze tickled her ears, or maybe three.

A large branch breaking to her left caught her attention and she unholstered her gun and turned to look.

A Taalik—a brown and white deer-like creature with velvety antlers– stood on four spindly legs with tiny hooves and stared at her with its impossibly large blue eyes. Its short snout wiggled as it stayed so still.

August sighed with relief and changed out her plasma 6-shooter for her bow and arrow. The bow felt solid and like second nature in her calloused hands. She took aim and as she went to release the arrow, she heard a piercing screech and suddenly a Kaai demon dove on the Taalik. August gasped and quickly put her bow back as the Kaai demon occupied itself with tearing the Taalik’s throat out. Blue blood splashed out onto the moss covered forest floor as August stood still for a moment and sent a prayer to any Goddess listening. Then she sprinted the rest of the way through trees, not stopping until she reached the reinforced steel electric fence. The Qualux trees streamed past her and a few skinny branches snapped at her face and snagged at her tunic, but she kept up the pace.

When she reached the gate, August typed Akiya’s code in the keypad with haste, slipped through and closed the gate behind her. She let out a breath she hadn’t noticed she held as she put her forehead to the cool steel. Shudders ran through her whole body as August breathed deep and slow, trying to calm her heart.

As soon as her heart returned to normal, a thunderous wave of nausea hit her and she stooped over with her hands on her knees and retched until nothing was left.

Her forearm started to throb. “Yeah, yeah, I know you’re there.” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she turned away from the gate and made it to her horse, Thak.

He stood tied to a wrought iron light post in the open, but actually had been bespelled to be invisible to everyone but her.

August put her hand on his golden zebra striped fur and whispered, “Vaalmya”. He was now visible to all. Horses here were like most in the human world except they had fur instead of hair and came in many more exotic colors.

She mounted Thak’s broad back and took the reins in her good hand. August shouted, “Yah!” and he jumped into a break neck gallop.

Chapter Two

“Good Goddess!” Akiya Paion exclaimed when August arrived.

Akiya, August and a few others had made a small base camp in the far north of the mountains. Two light brown tents that fit up to five people and one green tent that held eight dotted a mostly barren desert area. A few green bushes and trees surrounded the green tent. From the air, the tents would blend in.

Akiya tucked a stray locke of cotton candy colored hair behind one pointed ear and then stood there and wrung her caramel hands. “I told you this was a bad idea, Princess.” The laugh lines around her diamond like eyes turned into worry creases as she chewed her full lower lip.

Akiya was still the only one August allowed to call her Princess.  To the rest she was simply August.

“I know.” August’s voice waivered as she dismounted.

Although Akiya had just a few years on August, her voice came from an ancient world. “Come here and let me see you better.” She opened her arms in her silvery tunic and took a step forward in her black boots.

August shuffled toward Akiya with her head lowered. I hate disappointing her.

The healer wrinkled her noise at the stench, but didn’t comment on it as she took August’s left arm in her deft hands and looked at the wound. She sucked air through her teeth a few times and August knew the damage was great. Akiya usually could keep comments to herself.

“That bad, huh?”

“Some of the worst you’ve had, Princess.”

“Fantastic.”

Akiya squinted at August for a second before returning her attention to the wound.

August shut up.

“I need you to wash up to really assess the damage.” She poked at the gaping toward her wrist, eliciting a strangled cry from August.  Blood welled up again. “Off you go, Princess.”

August covered her left forearm with her free hand and meandered along the path behind Akiya to the shallow stream behind the enormous granite boulder.

She passed Phelan with his wild buttercup yellow curls and one stormy gray eye (the other he lost in a fight and covered with a simple black patch) as he sharpened some arrows. His black tunics seams threatened to burst when he moved from all his muscle. He didn’t glance up from his work, but grunted an acknowledgment.

Across from him – working on some kind of stew—the portly Quinlin sat in a blue tunic. Upon seeing August, he rubbed his bald head, crinkled his jolly blue eyes into a smile, and waived.

August waived back.

As August walked away, Akiya tied up Thak next to her own blue Ombre colored horse named Thannos and ducked into the green tent.

August tried to keep from leaving droplets as she reached the stream. She kneeled down at the edge of the water and gingerly put her arm in. The cool water felt surprisingly refreshing. August grinned to herself and then noticed her face in the water. Black streaks and splatters crossed most of her pale face and ran down her arms. The cut across her cheek from the Kai demon tail was raw and inflamed. Her eyes looked back at her in a haunting stare. “No wonder Akiya looked worried.” She washed her face and then put her arm back in the water, Once the bleeding slowed, she stripped out of her sticky tunic and unzipped her boots.

A fresh olive green tunic had been laid out for her on a small part of the rock. Akiya, like most healers, could sense impending doom.

She set aside her weapons and glanced around. Coast clear.

August slipped into the cool water that went to her waist and started washing up. Her body, though long and lean with ample breasts and small hips, was littered with battle scars. They crisscrossed her back, her stomach, her shoulders and her chest. In the two years since she’d been on the run, August’s blemish free skin became the story of her journey.

She undid her braid and untangled her white lockes with her fingers the best she could after washing them.

August took a moment to revel in the warmth of the sun and just to be alive.

A snapping noise startled August and she turned to the shore.

She heard a muttered curse from a male voice and ducked into the water with just her head out. “Who’s there?” August braved calling out. My weapons are on shore, dammit.

Fineas stepped out from behind the boulder with his dark cheeks somehow enflamed and his hands held up. “Uh, just me, Princess…I mean August.” Fineas stood at 6’4 with hip length deep black hair he kept in a tight braid and tilted brown eyes that he lined with kohl like his Egyptian ancestors use to. A black tunic cinched at his small waist. “Uh, sorry.” He covered his eyes. Fineas was great with a broad sword or a plasma gun, a bow and arrow or an energy spell, great to keep your back in a fight, but not so great with the female species.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Fin?”

“N-nothing.” He winced. “I mean-um.” Fineas paused.

“Well?”

He cleared his throat and tried again. “Akiya was worried you were taking too long, so she sent me.”

“Tell her I’ll be out in a moment,” August yelled. “As soon as I get dressed.”

Fineas fell all over himself trying to back up and leave. “Yes, Princess… I mean August!”

August chuckled to herself and made her way to shore.

WORD COUNT GOAL

2251/8000

Science Fantasy WIP- Chapter Two

This is the first chapter to my novel about August Wysteria. It is an epic tale—full of plasma guns and sarcasm—about a faerie princess dodging death at every turn.

WARNING: Language and light gore

Chapter One

Being a real faerie princess is not what every little girl actually dreams of, August Wysteria thought as the crimson Kai demon attempted to suck the marrow from her right forearm. She raised her plasma 6-shooter and blasted the demon right between two of its four glowing lime eyes, effectively covering her even more in the stench of the worst raw sewage and rotten eggs scent to ever exist. “Ugh!” August used her free hand to wipe some of the black blood out of one of her lavender edged gold eyes. Immediately she had to duck the pouncing attack of another Kai demon. That one got a blast to the back of its elongated oval head as soon as it landed. The tail whipped back at her in a last death throe and the jagged scales cut across her cheek. “Fuck, even dead you all suck.”

The two shots had echoed out in the clearing of the forest lit with summer sun. A gathering of Kipple birds took flight– from dark olive Qualox trees– with their tangerine and violet wings picking up a cool breeze.

August glanced at the birds for a second, wishing she could escape with them.

A third Kai demon hissed from her right and she turned to aim her gun at it.

The demon crouched on all fours for a moment with its razor-like knees and elbows tightening to launch. Long pointed ears twitched as it listened.

“I don’t think so!” She clicked the trigger and nothing happened. “Shit!”

A reptilian grin gaped across its face exposing glistening fangs. Its tail spasmed with excitement as it leapt toward her.

She reloaded faster than she ever had before and managed to get a shot off just as the Kai demon was upon her.

It exploded in a disgusting mess of blood, bone and tissues all over her.

She tried to sit up but the weight and stench held her down. “Mother fucker!” She pushed off the bigger chunks and stood up, dripping, and began scanning the wide clearing she had entered too hunt for any other demons. Kai demons loved to travel in packs. Her once-grey tunic stuck to her skin in too many places as she moved slowly around with her gun ready to fire at anything that so much as looked wrong. The heat was making the smell worse, but it fell to the back of her mind. August panted from the fight, but her heart still pounded a crazy jungle beat full of adrenaline.

The area was silent, but nothing seemed eerie or ominous about that. She twirled around when she heard a rustling but it was just a stale breeze blowing over a red Gooza berry bush.

After perhaps 15 minutes her injured arm started to shake from holding up her gun. Nothing else seemed to be coming for her. She holstered her weapon and looked down at her forearm. She tore off what was left of her wrist guard—which apparently is no use to prevent Kai demon fangs from ripping up your flesh—and beneath the drying black blood she could see the shredded skin and muscle. “Akiya is going to have a field day figuring out how to fix that one,” August muttered to herself. Just add it to my list of other angry scars. August tore the bottom of her tunic in a spot that had remained mostly 3–week expired milk smell free and wrapped her injury the best she could to prevent bleeding out on the walk. She didn’t want people chuckling over her death because she’d been stupid. August thought that might be something crazy to think about. Maybe it’s shock? The adrenaline finished seeping away though and brought sharp agony in its place.

Fantastic. She huffed, flicked her bloody white braid over her left shoulder, and picked up her black and silver bow that had gone flying in the attack. She slung it back into its proper place and walked back through the trees towards the fence as her thigh-high leather boots snapped twigs beneath her feet. She didn’t care at the moment if she was making too much noise. She was pissed. Her quiver bounced on her back in a comforting rhythm, jostling the hand crafted arrows inside, and she finally slowed her pace. “Just out to hunt up some dinner, but noooo, I can’t go Goddess damned anywhere,” she snarled.

Sunlight sparkled through the Qualux trees which were so tall they looked like they kissed the sky and lit the path in cheer.

Small Kipple birds called symphonies to each other from their long pointed beaks while fat Mikkels with big bushy tails, and large tufted ears raced to-and-fro across tree branches.

Summer blooms in a wide range of vibrant colors and shapes blurred past August and she slowed down and tried to avoid stomping. It remained hard to be so annoyed in all the splendor of the forest.

She turned her face to the sun and basked a bit in the warmth that touched the cleaner parts of her skin. I need a bath, she caught a whiff of herself as a cool breeze tickled her ears, or maybe three.

A large branch breaking to her left caught her attention and she unholstered her gun and turned to look.

A Talik—a brown and white deer-like creature with velvety antlers– stood there on four spindly legs with tiny hooves and stared at her with its impossibly large blue eyes. Its short snout wiggled as it stayed so still.

August sighed with relief and changed out her plasma 6-shooter for her bow and arrow. The bow felt solid and like second nature in her calloused hands. She took aim and just as she went to release the arrow, she heard a piercing screech and suddenly a Kai demon dove on it. August gasped and then quickly put her bow back as the Kai demon occupied itself with tearing the Talik’s throat out. Blue blood splashed out onto the moss covered forest floor as August stood still for a moment and sent a prayer to any Goddess listening. Then she sprinted the rest of the way through trees, not stopping until she reached the reinforced steel electric fence. The Qualux trees streamed past her and a few skinny branches snapped at her face and snagged at her tunic, but she kept up the pace.

When she reached the gate, August typed Akiya’s code in the keypad with haste, slipped through and closed the gate behind her. She let out a breath she hadn’t noticed she held as she put her forehead to the cool steel. Shudders ran through her whole body as August breathed deep and slow, trying to calm her heart.

As soon as her heart returned to normal, a thunderous wave of nausea hit her and she stooped over with her hands on her knees and retched until nothing was left.

Her forearm started to throb. “Yeah, yeah, I know you’re there.” She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she turned away from the gate and made it to her horse, Thak.

He stood tied to a wrought iron light post in the open, but actually had been bespelled to be invisible to everyone but her.

August put her hand on his golden zebra striped fur and whispered, “Visabla”. He was now visible to all. Horses here were like most in the human world except they had fur instead of hair and came in many more exotic colors.

She mounted Thak’s broad back and took the reins in her good hand. August shouted, “Yah!” and he jumped into a break neck gallop.

WORD COUNT GOAL

2251/8000

Science Fantasy WIP- Chapter One