As I've caught a bad case of the sniffles and my throat feels like sandpaper there will be no singing for me this week.😞
On another note; I'm getting better on the guitar... already using four fingers on the frets and up to three strings without getting tangled up!😏
Anywhoo's; I thought I might get a post out there with the beginning of a story that I am still in the process of writing.
It is Fantasy based, though not over the top magical. It's dark and gritty but also sweet and funny at times.
Happy reading and drop me a message if you like.
𝓢𝓸 𝓭𝓸𝓮𝓼 𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓮𝓷𝓮𝓶𝔂;
𝓜𝓸𝓿𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓲𝓷 𝓼𝓱𝓪𝓭𝓸𝔀𝓼,
𝓤𝓷𝓽𝓲𝓵 𝓲𝓽 𝓲𝓼 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓫𝓾𝓽 𝓽𝓸𝓸 𝓵𝓪𝓽𝓮
Nora woke up from the nightmares again as she sat straight up on her cot. Her brow was dripping with sweat and for a time she concentrated on her breathing to calm herself. Wiping her hand across her face she tried to recall the remnants of it even though it had scared her. The dreams had been coming to her for a while now, with every full moon a little bit more of the story seemed to unfold. She dreamed of beasts both human and animal. Men of the cloth dressed in fine robes and even some who wielded weapons that left utter destruction in their wake. She heard the women’s cries, saw her fellow witches burn and through their screams she heard something else… A howling that chilled her to the bone. She could even feel the fur brush against her skin and smell something that could only be described as a wooded area after a heavy rainfall. The musty soil almost masked the deep musky scent but when she'd turn around in that dark place she would always wake up, scared and frightened with the two yellow eyes still imprinted on her retina.
No one would listen to her. They all believed her powers to foresee the future were a fluke, at best. And though they deemed themselves safe behind the walls of the convent, the witches were in fact living in perilous times. She believed that what she saw would bring an end to their peaceful, yet secret, coexistence with the humans and their God. They were coming for them and all she could do was to reach out to one that wanted to strike a bargain. Wolves and witches could work together if their need was desperate enough. Even though the thought of associating with beings that acted like animals even though they knew better, she knew she had to try, for all their sakes.
Looking out the window she saw that it was still a few hours before dawn and slipped out from under the warm blankets. Quickly she threw on a dress and sank her feet into her fur lined boots, lastly donning a dark, green coloured cloak. Foregoing on anything that would signify her as a one who practiced human religion, she pulled the cowl over her honey coloured tresses and snuck out of her room, through the dark hall and climbed the gate. It wasn't something she hadn't done before, but this would be the first time she'd ever gone out in search of something that no witch would have allowed her to do; finding the wolf pack that roamed and hunted these lands.
Her tread was light, but not gentle enough to fool any predator that was protecting its territory. Nora had woven a delicate spell to show her the most concentrated area of the wolves. Only this time it wasn't to plot a safe course around them, but it was her plan to walk straight into their encampment and plead her case to the alpha male. It would be dangerous and she was very much frightened, but she could not ignore having lost one more day before she took heed of her dreams and sought some sort of aid to prevent catastrophe from coming to pass.
There had been no movement, no trace of any wolf but she knew there were eyes on her as soon as she got within a closer vicinity of their territory. It wouldn't be long before she would be stopped, so while she got on her knees for a moment to drink some water from a nearby stream, she felt something approach her from behind. Without turning she closed her eyes for a second and exhaled slowly, not making any sudden movements. "I've come here to speak to your alpha. Please take me to him?" She could sense the confusion in the air and for a moment she didn't know if there really had been someone standing there or if her mind had played tricks on her. But sure enough, when she turned, there stood a man and a wolf. Their expressions a mixture of wonder, curiosity, suspicion and contempt, once they realised she was a witch. After eyeing her for a while the two seemed only to communicate through glancing at one another, because the next thing she knew she got grabbed, thrown over the shoulder of the one shaped like a man while the other wolf threw his head back and howled. Nora cried out briefly at the sudden brutality, ceasing her scream the moment she heard the wolf howl. This is what she wanted, no going back, but her heart pounded like a drum to the music of the wolves that echoed the cry of their fellow wolf.
After being tossed about quite a bit, while the wolves ran back to their leader, she tried to remain as calm as she could. The creatures weren't the most gentle or subtle; because once their destination was reached she got thrown to the ground like a sack of flower. Nora crawled up on her hands and knees, trying to make out what was happening as she attempted to toss her long hair to the side. The first thing she saw was a mocking face of a rather large and muscular man. He wore no shirt and his skin was covered in scars and marks from what only could be caused by numerous fights and battles. His dark brown beard was cut close to the skin and overall well kempt. His eyes were a dark brown colour, but she wasn't fooled, she knew it would light up yellow whenever he wanted to demonstrate his beastly side. Not that he needed to, because she was already terrified enough of his impressive appearance. She froze when he took a step closer and crouched down, pulling up near to her face as he grabbed a strand of her hair between his thumb and index finger. His hands were huge and she could only imagine what they could do if they had claws instead of fingernails. She waited, almost holding in her breath when he sniffed at it before grinning and dropping her hair again. "You smell like a scared, little witch."
He thought that was pretty amusing and chuckled. Meanwhile other wolves in both animal and human shape had caught on and curiously approached, forming a circle around the two as they waited and watched. The alpha tilted his head, seeking out her eyes and stretching out his finger now to coax up her head as he lifted her chin. "What are you doing here?" The words were spoken softly, yet there was still a rumble that ended in a prolonged and low growl.
The girl's mouth had gone dry the moment she had looked at him, but she couldn't go back now. Taking in a deep breath she slowly released it when he sniffed her hair and joked at her expense. "You're right, I am frightened." She stated. "I've been dreaming of catastrophe. Of the inquisition coming this way and my people being slaughtered if they cannot be stopped." She felt the finger being replaced by his entire hand as he cupped and painfully squeezed her face. The snarl preceding his words was probably not a good sign. "What have we to do with witches?! It is not our matter … hnnn? Or have you something else to say?" Nora was shaking now, but she looked up into his eyes even though his face was far too close for comfort and kept them locked with his. "Once the witches are gone they might not stop there." She waited to see if he understood. "I propose…" For a moment she hesitated but then continued because he was growing impatient. "I can make you the most powerful pack running in all the lands, if you help us."
He released her face after another few seconds of silence, pushing her on her back as he loomed over her, his eyes narrowed. "How will you do that?" He glared at her, while the growl in his voice had softened; perhaps she had hit the right spot for negotiating because he listened carefully. "I… I will pledge myself and my magic to you for as long as I live. With my sorcery you will wield more power than any other pack." After saying that she started chewing the inside of her cheek and curling her fingers into fists, squeezing them tightly as she awaited his reaction. This offer would ruin her life and it was humiliating beyond belief, though it was not only for the survival of her coven, but perhaps all witches. The roar he uttered as he pulled back was deafening and it took all she had not to cringe but get up on her feet. She needed to show she was strong and wouldn't buckle at the first sign of trouble. Proudly she raised her chin and waited for him to reply. The alpha wolf had by then started to rub his chin, was sizing her up considerably. He stood a full head higher than she did and her body looked too frail to be any good for joining their pack. But there was power in her eyes and in the way she carried herself. It had taken either bravery or a lot of foolishness for her to seek them out and her request was certainly worth some consideration. "Exactly what power are you offering, girl?" He snorted, but she could tell he was more than tempted by the promise of power.
"Surely the power of my people must have reached your ears?" Nora stated, disbelieving his feigned ignorance. "But we are no match for the humans that outnumber both our kind. I believe it is time to join forces." Nora kept her eyes locked with his, seeing the doubt in his mind, wondering if he was dealing with a mad woman. "I can assure that you won't get an offer like this ever again." Her eyes flickered; somehow she knew that if this did not work, there would be no witches left in these lands to ever offer anything, let alone an alliance. She needed to remove the doubt from his eyes and so she swiftly spoke a low rumbling word that he could not make out. The palm of her hand pointed to the sky as the other motioned him not to disturb or touch her in any way. Suddenly lighting struck, with a thundering sound, right into that little circle that had formed around them. It left a smouldering, black patch of scorched earth while everyone's hair was standing on end as well as having their ears ringing. Now Nora glanced at the Alpha defiantly. "That could have killed all of you." She calmly uttered.
As a matter of fact it very well might have killed her right along with them but that was something she kept to herself, as well as the horrible feeling of magic wrongfully used that was circling through her spine and making her nauseous.
Image from Pixabay - uploaded by TheHilaryClark