Death in Blue Eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a snippet from a book I am writing, just to see how people respond. This part is about how a girl must find her true desire to fight, when the innocent bystanders of a village are targeted.

I was sitting on a rock when the Mountain Crone came to deliver the news. The breeze was caressing my face, touching with soft, gentle hands on my cheeks and lips. Rantrax was down by the stream entertaining himself with the animated fish that liked to swarm around his hooves in the shallow water, like little followers, nudging at his ankles with blunt, persistent noses. Even from here I could feel the soft yellow waves of his emotions as he interacted with the swimming animals. I loved it up here, the highest point of the mountain, where I could see the rest of the range extending out to either side. Ever since reaching this rocky bridge between heaven and earth, I had spent most of my spare time gazing up at the stars at night, watching the sun rise in the morning, letting my mind wander over the fields and plains on the horizon or just immersing myself in the sheer exhilaration of being up so high where it almost seemed possible to reach the stars.
There was a sound, a sound I knew well, great paws padding silently and quickly over rocks and rubble. I reluctantly turned my head away from the endless blue sky and down towards the source of the noise. The Mountain Crone was sitting astride her Mount, her short grey hair cropped so close to her head that it barely moved in the wind, even though her cloak billowed around her body like the wings of a hunting bird of prey, beating rhythmically as it descended upon its next meal with relish.
 I stood up and climbed quickly down the collection of boulders, landing with a crunch of rubble and sending a small flurry of stones skittering off in different directions down the slope. Raygite was racing towards me, her Rider sitting firmly on her back and leaning forward urgently as the great fox leapt lithely up the rocks and loose boulders towards me. I waited for them to reach me, and as soon as I was within shouting distance the Mountain Crone cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled something up to me, the wind carrying her words upwards like leaves born on the current of a river. “THEY HAVE STRUCK THE VILLAGE!”
I felt my blood freeze in my veins and the world seemed to stand still, the wind no longer mattering and the sky seeming to shrivel and darken. Rantrax’s emotions changed to a startling shade of red as he felt my shock and horror. Raygite skidded to a halt in front of me, her head level with my chest as her yellow eyes regarded me coldly and her tail twitched from side to side, her tongue lolling out of the side of her mouth as she panted. “They have struck the village” the Mountain Crone said again, bending forward over the fox’s head to also lock eyes with me. “It seems they are determined to weasel us out whatever the cost, we have no choice now but to confront them” she said flatly, her grey eyes seeming to burn deep into my soul. I felt the icicles in my veins slowly begin to unfreeze. “The monsters” I murmured quietly, thinking of the small, friendly village we had visited only just this morning. “Good grief child speak up” the Mountain Crone exclaimed. I blinked slowly, Rantrax was coming, I could feel his shift in emotions as he read my feelings and I could almost hear the sound of his breathe as he too raced up the mountain.
“Does this mean we have to fight?” I asked numbly, ignoring the fox and allowing my eyes to remain locked with the Mountain Crone’s. “Yes” she said, straightening up and lifting her hand to scan the horizon on the right. I looked to, smoke was rising steadily and alarmingly into the sky, like a merciless grey wave that was unstoppably spreading from the peak of the neighbouring mountain. “This will put your skills to the test again, girl” she said, turning back to me. I refocused my eyes onto her lined, ancient face with her eyes glittering dangerously like small, sharp chips of ice. At the thought of fighting, I felt the last shards of frozen water melting as my blood started to run faster and hotter. “I know” I said, nodding my head.
The dagger in my belt seemed to burn against my skin even though I was wearing two layers of clothing. Raygite turned her massive head away from me and prepared to depart. The Mountain Crone twisted her head around to me “we haven’t got all day child, your Mount will reach us if he’s determined!” she said brusquely, then her voice softened a bit but remained determined “I know we’ve given them leniency before but this time we can’t let them escape”, then the black fox took a few running steps before leaping down agilely onto a lower, flatter rock, bounding off again and soon disappearing from view over the slope, going at a speed greater than before. I didn’t have time to wait for my Mount to arrive, the smoke was engulfing the mountain and I could only imagine what it must be like in the village, chaos and bloodshed. All because they knew that in order for me to show my face, they would have to get innocent lives involved. I brushed my hand quickly over the long, deadly knife on my belt and wondered how ironic it was that only this morning I had hoped it would be a while before I would have to use it again. I followed Raygite’s path, landing in a crouch on the flat rock and then racing after the Crone and her Mount. I got a slight wave of green determination from Rantrax as he altered his course. There was no way I would be able to catch up with the fleet paws of Raygite, but I knew the way to the village and suddenly, as I ran, words from my training with the Mountain Crone ran through my head in jagged and slashing patterns. ..grip him with your knees.... balance child! You must keep your balance it is your most important strength....you must feel his movement beneath you, go with it....wield your weapon like it’s your best friend.
I tried to replay all of my lessons of attack, defence and speed in my head, last time I had fought I had not had time to think before I acted, but this time I needed to plan ahead. I had to be able to keep my balance on my Mount; if I didn’t then I would almost certainly perish. My feet pounded across the rocks and rubble, I knew that it was only my speed that saved me from losing my footing on loose stones or rocks and that if I could only hold out until Rantrax arrived then I could focus on fighting tactics instead of keeping my breath. I skidded to a halt, nearly smacking into a tall boulder that seemed to suddenly rear up out of the ground. I leant forward onto it, panting and listening to the beat of my heart which was pounding like a herd of wild horses. The rock felt solid and comforting under my arm, my ears were ringing and I suddenly yearned for the closeness of the blue sky again. I flung my head up and felt my breathe rattling in my throat as the world started to spin around me, shapes and sounds mixing with the wide blue to create a dizzying array of shapes that threatened to engulf me in waves of sickness.
Suddenly, something warm and sticky gripped my arm and I jerked out of my delusion with a small, choked gasp. I looked down and saw a small hand coated in blood latched onto my forearm. The arm belonged to a small boy who could only have been as old as 6, his bright blue eyes glazed with something beyond pain and I saw with horror that his whole other arm had been ripped off and there was nothing but a bloody, gory stump protruding sickeningly from his right shoulder. He was standing shakily on two feet, his head lolling backwards “I .. couldn’t... save... her” he gasped out, blood spilling from his mouth as he pitched backward, his hand slipping from my arm. I lunged forward to catch him but my foot slipped on a loose stone and I missed. The boy was dead before he even hit the ground.
I felt bile rise up in my throat and I stepped backwards, only then noticing a foot poking out from under the body. Stepping forward again I gingerly pulled the boy aside, exposing a girl who looked about the same age as him, lying sprawled on the rough ground. Her thin hands were knotted tightly in the front of her dress and her body was lifeless and cold. The whole front of her looked like it had been ripped to pieces, long claw marks ran down her chest and one of her ribs protruded out the side of her body. The dead girl’s face was frozen in a mask of terror and pain, her mouth open in a silent scream of terror, forever frozen in agony and fear. Her eyes were the exact same blue as her brothers’.
Deony!?”
Rantrax’s mental voice was like a warm, comforting blanket being thrown over my horror-stricken mind. “Over here!” I cried, stepping away from the corpses of the dead children and waving my hand over my head. There was a thunder of hooves and my Mount, a magnificent white stag of the mountains, appeared a way away, racing up to me as fast as Raygite the black fox. He reached me with a snort of relief and I flung my arms around his thick neck, embracing him. The stag lowered his head and gently pried himself away from me, his emotions flashing vividly when he saw the dead children. I turned and looked at them too, and as I saw the identical blue eyes gazing lifelessly up at the sky like dulled jewels, I felt an overpowering wave of rage and hate wash through me, like the blood of a demon coursing through my veins and making my vision cloud with red. It was almost as though I had erupted in flames, flames of white hot pain, hatred and anger bursting forth from my body like some hidden monster and I was unable to stop the way my fingers jerked to my belt and closed around the hilt of my dagger. With conscious effort I ripped my fingers away from the cool metal and whirled around, facing Rantrax again, my mind seeing nothing but the terror of death. “Deony” he warned, trying to soothe my anger with his own calmness. “Damn them!” I said quietly, my hands shaking “damn them to hell.”
Rantrax stepped backwards, lowering his head so it was only about half a stride above mine. My head only came up to just under the top of his leg. I took a step back and then gave a running jump, grabbing hold of one of his antlers with my hand and swinging myself up as he lifted is great head, giving me the height I needed to ascend onto his back. Releasing his antler, I tucked my legs up behind me, burying my hands in the thick fur around his neck and feeling his muscles bunching under his coat, like a metal spring ready to be released. A catch seemed to give way and my Mount sprang into the air, hardly sparing a breathe as he landed atop the massive boulder that sheltered the two corpses, then thundering off again across the mountain.
I squeezed my eyes shut for a brief second, flattening myself against his body and feeling the dagger at my waist burning again like a red hot blacksmiths’ iron. I lifted my eyelids and looked down at the small, bloody handprint on my forearm, feeling my anger reach a new height in ferocity.
This time, I thought, there will be no mercy.
 
 


Submitted: March 28, 2011

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tempestxanadu

that sounds really great.
good job.

Mon, March 28th, 2011 2:40am

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