This is my first post of something that I have actually created myself. I’ll be doing the same on some other characters, but I’m going to try to finish one tiny story arc at a time so I can keep things easier on me and my readers. The first little story arc I’ll be doing is a 3-4 post series over a character of mine named Greyson. You’ll discover some of my other characters as time goes by, and I hope you enjoy each and every one of them. Thank you for reading.
I sat down by the fire and looked about our makeshift camp while Alyvia slept. Between the two of us we didn’t have much, just a couple blankets, a water skin, and a few coins that we had stowed away incase we came across a traveling merchant. Though we lacked in our material possessions, we weren’t terribly bad off. I had spent most of my 16 eclipses hunting with my father and searching for herbs for my mother. Little did I know that the tasks I found so monotonous and boring only months ago would prove to be the same tasks that kept me and Alyvia alive. Most nights we would go to bed hungry, but we would always have a little something in our stomachs, even if it was just some chalky eldbark to ease the rolling of our bellies.
I looked across the fire at Alyvia’s sleeping figure. Even though we had shared all 16 eclipses of our lives together, I had never really taken the time to actually look at her before. We had grown up in the same village, we had always been good friends, but I never really had considered her any more than that. Then the mercenaries came. I had been out on my own hunting after a fight with my father when I seen the smoke. In my fit of youthful anger, I ventured further from our village than I thought I had, and by the time I returned I was too late.
I expected to hear screams when I got close. I expected to see people rushing about to quench the flames, but I was only met with an eerie quiet that was only disturbed by the crackling of flames as they devoured the homes of my people. I rushed to my own home, my head knowing what I would find, but my heart desperately clinging to the hope that all was well there. Suffice it to say that my head was right. I wept in the ashes of my home until I was exhausted, then I slept in them, letting their heat comfort me like my home once had.
I awoke the next morning blackened by ash. I stumbled over to the stream that ran along side our small property only to be found that it was covered in ash as well. My mind was too numb to really care though, so I washed off the best I could. I began walking around what remained of our small village. It was still early in the morning, so some of the homes were still smoldering, but most of them had already been burned to the ground.
I walked around, not really knowing where I was going. I just let my feet carry me where they would. My mind was too busy trying to keep itself from crumbling to care where they took me. By the time I realized I had actually stopped walking I was standing in front of Alyvia’s family home.
I heard a faint cry, I almost mistook it for a bird and walked on, but something drew me towards the back of the house, which was where I heard sounds coming from the horse trough. As I inched closer the sounds became desperate, weak whimpers. Once I reached the trough I looked into the ashen water and seen Alyvia’s dark blue eyes staring back up at me.
I do believe that, that is when I first noticed her beauty. Even with her bloodshot eyes, even with her auburn hair matted across her ashen face her beauty effortlessly shone through like the moon on a cloudless night. I remember just being able to think “How did ever take you sixteen eclipses to see this?”
I heard a whimper that startled me from my memories. Across the fire I could see Alyvia’s chest sputtering as she struggled to silence her cries. I got up and walked to her side. I knelt down beside her and placed my hand on her shoulder, “Is everything alright?”
Alyvia stared up at me with tears making trails down her cheeks. “Yea,” she sputtered, “I just had the dream again.” I looked her in the eyes and smiled at her. Her sobs quieted almost immediately and she smiled back up at me. “It’s amazing how you can say so much without saying anything at all Greyson.”
I laughed, “I’m glad I can just make you smile every now and again. Gods know that we both need to a little more nowadays.” When Alyvia tried to reply it just came out as a jumbled yawn. “Get some rest,” I urged her, “we still have a long way to travel before we get to Iris, you’ll need all the sleep you can get.”
She went to lie back down, but before she did Alyvia threw her arms around my neck and hugged me. Then she whispered in my ear, “Promise that you’ll never leave me Greyson.” I could tell that she was already on the verge of tears again as she said it.
“I swear by the clever sun, the cunning moon and all their children in the skies that I shall never leave your side Alyvia.” With that she released my neck, gave me another smile and laid back down on her blankets. By the time I got up and walked to the other side of the fire I could see her chest rising and falling in the steady way that comes with sleep.
I sat down and let my mind wander once again. I wasn’t sure when I had fallen asleep, but I woke up to the sound of something thrashing about in our camp. Thinking we may have entered the territory of some animal I slowly drew myself up, my eyes were still trying to focus though, so I just seen vague outlines of the shapes in front of me. Suddenly I heard a scream, Alyvia’s scream, and then I felt something connect with the back of my skull and all was black again.