Mary Wall

United States

Aspiring Author
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Daughter of the King
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Fangirling over the Ranger Apprentice Series
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Message to Readers

Inspired by PureHeart's contest prompt!

River on Fire ~ pt. one

December 30, 2018

FREE WRITING

4
    She stood on the cobblestone dock, curling and uncurling her fist, watching the river catch fire. Ashes floated to the earth around her, dotting her short dark hair. Where the ashes came from was anyone's guess. It was the river on fire after all. Not only do rivers not burn, but they make no ashes when they do.
    A shriek brought her back to reality and she searched the surrounding streets. Darkness hid everything from her sight, except a crate, laying on it's side against a wall. She took a few steps closer when she realized that the sound hadn't come from the empty streets. It hadn't come from anywhere near. She gazed across the river, through the writhing mass of flames. The heat hurt her eyes and blew her hair around her face, but she knew there was something there. Finally she caught a movement. Following it, she saw her enemy, a man in black. With him was another man, also in black, but with a band of white around his bicep. He was carrying something over his shoulder. A chest from the looks of it. Then it moved and she realized the real reason for the raid. They were taking slaves.
    Snapping into action, she snatched up her sword from the stones she'd thrown it onto in anger over the fire and sprinted to the stone bridge. It was already being lapped by the flames, blackened and weakened by the fire. But it was the only way over. She took a deep breath and started across. Sparks burned tiny holes in her clothing. Stones, loosened by the fire, tumbled into the blood-red river. She glared at them and continued on. Even under her light booted steps, she felt the bridge tremble and shudder. She lunged the last few steps as it collapsed, rolling onto solid ground. The water surged and gurgled around the stones and woodwork of the ruined bridge. Drops of water from the splash wetted her singed shirt. The cool water felt good after the burns of the sparks.
    She stood and gave one last look at the bridge. It would take the villagers weeks to build again. They would have to find a different way to handle the harvest goods. Remembering her quest, she turned and looked for her object, the man in black. Small fires burned patches of blackened grass and ash. She weaved through them, covering her mouth and nose with her sleeve. Hand on the hilt of her sword, she scanned the area. They must have moved on because of the smoke. 
    Quickly, she exited the burning area. Without the smoke to hinder her vision, she saw a group of fifty men hurrying away up ahead. In their midst were common dressed people. Children and strong young men and women. She grit her teeth in anger. Not today, Falon.
    Close to her right was the wooded area that comprised the outskirts and the west side of the village. A grim smile crossed her sweat and ash covered features. Silently, she entered the forest and ran along it, passing the band of raiders, until she had a considerable lead. Then she waited. With no men and no assets, her only hope was to bribe him. 
    When the band came into sight, she planted herself in the middle of the wide path and drew her sword, holding it at her side, ready if the need arose. The leader, a scout, saw her first and cried a warning. The group stopped and the captured people began to shriek and wail, inducing curses and threats from the raiders. Still she waited, motionless. The scout disapeared into the crowd, reappearing a moment later with a tall man. The man in black. " You think I really need your permission? I, king of Ivonara, need the permission of a girl-queen?" his men laughed at his so-called wit. 
    " They are my people and I will fight for them," she said quietly. Silence reigned. Falon stepped forward. His scout stepped up with him. With a irritated gesture, Falon sent him back. A word of warning about " her skill" was the only thing that he was able to whisper before he words were lost in the silence. 
    " You will fight for them?" Falon asked, disbelief and mockery staining his smooth voice. She nodded slowly. 
    " But you are unable to fight, Falon, so I think another compromise would be wise," she said. Falon raised one graying eyebrow. 
    " Unable to fight? Me? I will be able to fight until the day I die, and if I am challenged, I will fight," he hissed as he moved towards her. 
    " I am not unaware that you have great skill. You are not unaware that I do too. Without causing death, what would satisfy you? In exchange for my people, what will you take?"
    " You."     

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3 Comments
  • Fernweh

    Oh!!! That is something completely awesome!! I really love it....Please give me more. So good descriptions and an awesome cliffhanger...I love this...Keep on writing!!


    over 1 year ago
  • Mary Wall

    Sorry! I come up with random names in my head so I promise I did not steal it!:)


    over 1 year ago
  • Victoria Penning

    What?!?!?! Woah, missy!!! You stole my bad guy name!!!! X( ;P JK. It's fine. ;P This is really good! I can't wait for moooore!!! XD


    over 1 year ago