I'm 16 years old and I've been writing since I was in fourth grade. It is such a huge passion of mine and I hope that is very evident :-)
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Written By: McKayla Rose
June 24, 2015
A single fence separates two family farms. It separates the orderly farm of the Blackwood family, where the animals are fed food as succulent as if they are apart of the family, and the farm of the Salinger family, where the animals wander around finding what food they can before they are slaughtered. More than that, the fence separates the two kingdoms of Comae and Eleca.
Comae, where all are treated equal because they know better than any other what it is like to be mistreated, is home to the Blackwood family. The Blackwoods are simply an average family of Comae, but compared to Eleca, they are anything but ordinary.
An Elecan, like the Salingers, can spot a Comet a mile away. With gold and silver Scrawls down their backs, arms, and shoulders, a Comet can't exactly hide their identity without hiding their entire body. To the Salingers, the Scrawls are an abomination, a symbol of tyranny and brash carelessness. They see the Scrawl as not beautiful, but like a scar, like something that tore through one's skin in a very painful manner. To the Blackwoods, their Scrawls are their pride. Every Comet takes pride in the Scrawls that decorate their skins, in the tattoos they were born with. They see them not as scars or mere birthmarks, but as alluring representations of character. That's because Scrawls are so much more than tattoos. If one is born with a Scrawl, as most Comets are, they are born extraordinarily gifted. Those with thin, whispy silver Scrawls are referred to as Couve Comets, meaning comets with the power of physical manipulation. The range of a Couve Comet is limitless. They can do anything from tucking a strand of hair behind one's ear without touching it to soaring between the clouds. Most Couves of Comae become trained in healing. Thick, gold Scrawls indicate a Faria Comet. Faria are often associated with religion, as they work in the sometimes dirty business of altering fate, or at least attempting it. They are rare and blessed figures, the only able to perform rituals strong enough to change the course of fate. A Praedis Comet, with both silver and gold Scrawls, will always be found working with a Faria. In fact, it was this that started the great war between Eleca and Comae, the war in which the Salingers burnt the Blackwoods' farm. A Praedis is gifted with visions of the future, often using this gift to cheat people. They would predict an awful future, and their partner, a Faria, would be paid to change it. It didn't take long for Praedis' ways to catch up with them; the war killed all living Praedis.
Historically, Eleca and Comae ended their wars in complex ways, believing that if they could make their nations similar, almost integrated, that they could avoid future conflict. King Wulfric of Comae was the first to grow weary, or at least the first to show it. As customary for the two nations, Comae and Eleca agreed to pay tribute to the other by sending an exchange of citizens to live in the other nation. Except, in this case, the citizens were much more extraordinary. The King of Comae gave up his son, Vance in exchange for King Lysander of Eleca's daughter, Lita.
A day in the middle of winter, after eleven years of fighting, the news was publicized and a celebration was called for. The great war was at last over. A peace, as if there ever was one, would be between the two nations. The Blackwoods were quick to celebrate. Of course, the prince Vance would be missed; he was but five years old and adored across Comae. But the Blackwoods, like most Comets, had faith he would help the Elecans understand their way of life and destroy the stereotypes about them. The Blackwoods prepared a feast and decided that just before sundown they would bring some to the Salingers.
The Salingers, like the rest of the Elecans, wept. They adored the small daughter of Lysander, knew she would be the princess they deserved. And then she was snatched from them, thanks to the cheating and cowardly Comets. It was a war Comae started, so why did Eleca have to give up their princess? It made no sense. The Salingers locked their doors, looking through their windows at the Blackwoods, surprised to see them heading their way. The Salingers sharpened their knives: they would not lose another beloved to a Comet
The Blackwoods, a family of Couve Comets, refused to use their skills when the Salingers pressed the sharp points of knives to their throats. It would only make you hate us more, they said. We are equal, we can find peace, they said, but the Salingers didn't listen.
When the blood of the Blackwoods was spilt, the Salingers cried out that they did it for their nation, for Eleca.
It is for our lost daughter of Eleca, they cried, we will have her back. The bartered prince will not bear our welcome.