The Death Bridge

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

Chapter 23 (v.1) - Peaceful

Submitted: July 17, 2019

Reads: 48

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Submitted: July 17, 2019

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Raven stared at the sword. She looked up at her mother, uncertain. Then she slowly reached out to touch the sword, but her hand went straight through it. She sighed. “Raven, you must come and get the sword. I have shown you where it is”, her mother said as she turned around and placed the sword back into the chest. “But, I don’t know where we are. Nor how to get here”, Raven said.

The daylight suddenly disappeared as darkness filled the room. Raven saw the worry on her mother’s face. “What’s wrong mother?”, she asked as she walked over. “The spell, it’s fading”, she said as she looked at Raven. “Look where it all began. All is not what it seems. Listen and find the sword”, her mother said as she clung to Raven. She started to fade and Raven heard a low growl from somewhere within the ruins. “Mother!”, she called out with a shaking voice. “I love you, my child”, her mother said as Raven watched her face disappear. And then she was gone. Raven’s eyes stung as she tried to hold her tears back. She heard the growl again, only this time it was much closer than before. She looked for a place to hide when she heard hurried and heavy steps echoing from the stairway.

Her eyes fell on the rotten bed. She rushed over and fell on the stone floor, pushing herself under the bed as quickly as she could. And then she heard the footsteps enter the room. Now she could clearly hear the sound of nails touching the hard floor as the creature walked around slowly. She tried to slow her breathing and her heart was beating wildly. She tried her best to calm down, afraid that the creature might hear her heart beating. The room became ominously silent. After a few minutes, she started to relax a bit. “Maybe the thing left?”, she thought.

Suddenly the bed above her were yanked away and she let out a scream as the creature’s claw closed around her body and she felt herself being lifted into the air…

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A twig snapped loudly. Raven’s eyes flew open and she instantly drew her sword in one swift motion as she flew up from her position on the fallen over tree. She swirled around and stopped her blade when it touched the white-haired man’s throat. Axil glanced down at the blade against his throat. “Careful…”, he said, his hands held up in surrender. “It’s me…”, he said softly. She pulled her sword away from his throat and sheathed it. “What are you doing here?”, she asked as she grabbed her bow and walked past him. “Looking for you”, Axil answered, hiding his confusion about her reactions. “Why would you look for me”, Raven asked over her shoulder, her face red with embarrassment. “You did notice that the sun had already set? You were gone so long and Brongr suggested we go looking for you”, he said as he followed behind Raven. “Where is he then?”, Raven asked. “I told him to stay at the shack in case you went back.”

Suddenly Raven felt a hand on her shoulder, holding her back. She turned to face Axil, knowing what his next words would be. “What happened?”, he asked, his hand still on her shoulder. “I sat down to rest for a bit…I guess I fell asleep”, she said, avoiding his piercing silver eyes.

Axil looked at the woman before him. He knew that she was hiding something from him. He had been searching for a long time and wouldn’t have found her if he hadn’t heard her scream. He had followed the direction from which her scream came and saw her lying on the fallen over tree. Seeing her avoid his gaze as she stood in front of him, he knew she didn’t know that he had heard her. So he decided not to press the matter. But his eyes remained suspiciously fixed on her face.

Raven felt uncomfortable under Axil’s gaze. She felt as if he was reading her mind. She couldn’t help herself and looked up at him. Her gaze met his and she saw the suspicious look in his eyes. “Oh boy! I need to get away from this man…He knows I’m not telling him everything…Get away Raven, get away!”, she frantically thought as she stared into his eyes. She quickly looked down and shoved his hand away. She turned her back to him and walked towards her home. She walked as fast as she could, trying her best to ignore the pain in her leg. She could feel Axil’s eyes burning on her back as she walked on. “I need to get away from him!”, she thought as she clenched her teeth.

Raven’s pace slowed a bit as she started to feel weak. She stubbornly kept on walking, not realising that her rough movements had caused the wound in her side to start bleeding again. She felt her strength slowly fade, replaced by exhaustion that ached throughout her entire being. She stumbled.

Suddenly, a pair of strong arms wrapped around her as she felt herself being lifted from her feet. She struggled to get down but a deep voice near her ear suddenly made her stop. “Stop struggling…I’ll carry you the rest of the way…”, Axil said. Raven protested “I can walk back by myself!” Axil’s gaze met hers briefly. “Are you certain of that?”, he asked. Raven realised he was right. She felt too weak to continue walking. She sighed, lowering her gaze. “I’m sorry…Thank you…”, she softly said.

Not knowing what else to do, Raven rested her head against Axil’s shoulder. She could hear the steady beating of his heart as he carried her back home. She glanced up at him. His face seemed to her as if it was made of stone. Her eyelids grew heavy once more and she felt something she hadn’t felt in a long time - safe. She felt safe in the arms of this mysterious man. And even though her whole body ached, she felt a strange peacefulness filling her heart. A soft smile tugged on the corners of her mouth as she fell asleep.

Axil felt the steady, warm breaths in his neck and glanced down at the sleeping face against his shoulder. He looked with astonishment at the soft smile lingering on Raven’s lips. She looked so peaceful as she soundly slept in his arms. And at that moment, there was nothing more beautiful than the sleeping woman in his arms.

***

Brongr looked up and saw Axil walking towards him with Raven in his arms. His heart nearly stopped. He jumped up and hurried over. “What happened lad!?”, he anxiously asked. “She’s just sleeping, old man”, Axil said when he saw the worried look on the big man’s face. Brongr felt relief wash over him. He followed Axil into the shack. He watched as Axil gently laid Raven down on the bed and carefully replaced the bandages. As Axil left the bedside to put everything away, Brongr approached the sleeping woman.

He gently pulled the blanket up to her chin. This girl had awakened feelings in his heart that he never thought anyone could ever do again. He silently looked at the peaceful expression on Raven’s face. It was the first time since they had met this woman that he had seen her look so peaceful as she slept. He bent down and pressed his lips against her forehead. “Rest well, lassie”, he whispered as he gently caressed her face.

Axil turned around and saw Brongr’s gentle actions. For the second time, he was astonished. He never expected to this rugged man to be so gentle. But his sharp eyes didn’t miss the strange look in the big man’s emerald eyes and for a moment he saw sadness flash across the man’s face…

 

 

SOLI DEO GLORIA

 

 


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