Challenge defeated - Writing December contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
For the Writing December contest

Submitted: December 14, 2011

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Submitted: December 14, 2011

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The great warrior stood, looking over her ruined homeland with tears of despair. They had won, but she had lost. Sadness and grief enveloped her as she started towards the distant city, the castle that was her home. It was just so hard, so hard to continue, so hard to run, to return to the happiness, the vitality, the life that the city and her family brought her. Cheeks damp with a mixture of blood, sweat and tears, she looked to her horse, a dappled affair with a drooping mane and tail, once shiny eyes now dull and grey.

“Come, Pollux,” she said wearily, stroking his nose with a tired hand. Pollux whinnied encouragingly in return, and the warrior swung herself up into the saddle. “Come, Pollux!” the warrior repeated with little authority, but her faithful beast still started forward, a slow, battle worn walk, both horse and rider alike more weary with fatigue than any other on the planet, or so they felt.

Many hours passed, but still the warrior could not see her home, and fell from her horse in utter defeat and exhaustion. She stayed where she fell, alone, crying, sobbing, curled up near one of the many spluttering fires that littered the wasteland of her home. So she stayed for a day, then two, until finally, on the eve of the third day, she was shaken awake by a hand, a large, friendly, warm hand.

“Serena? Serena, wake up!” a concerned voice called in her ear. The hand shook her should again, as another voice joined in.

“Serena, we need you! You must wake up!” The speaker was younger, a boy’s voice not yet broken but near the time. The warrior, Serena, opened her eyes slowly. A bright light shone in, and blurry figures danced across her field of vision.

“Wha-” Serena blinked, and then blinked again. The smiling faces of her father and younger brother looked down on her, the relief in her sight of horror. Her brother held out his hand, and Serena took it, grinning.

“What were you doing out here, Ree-ree?” he asked cheekily. Serena cuffed him lightly over the head with renewed strength, but refusing to answer. Instead, she hugged him, tears from her dry eyes suddenly appearing and spilling out as she wept for her brother, for family, for her home. She did the same to her father, who then brought up her horse, Pollux. She took the reins again, her face filled with joy. Weak as she was, Serena managed to climb onto her horse’s back and stay there as they rode home.

“By the way, Ree-ree,” her brother, Nial told her, “welcome back!” Serena smiled, and laughed, and together they trotted away, into the rising sun.


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