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Of Falling Stars



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Cloud_Unchained

Hooray! Hooray!
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
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Hey guys! Long time no see (if I've ever seen you at all)!

I'm glad to see the Creative Writing section of the forum still thriving. I used to write a fan fiction back in the day, but I stopped due to lack of drive. Years ahead (now), I started writing another short story. This one is an original story. I'm still working out the kinks, but I hope you guys enjoy it!

Chapter 1

“Well, what now?” he asked. The two sat puzzled on a frigid stone ledge. A soft breeze sent the grass around them into a dance. They were exhausted. The open clearing they found was like a safe haven from the whirlwind they had been swallowed by in what seemed like a matter of moments. She sat huddled, wrapping her arms around her folded legs. He stared aimlessly towards the ground in an effort to pry his focus from the way her hair had seemed to glow golden on nights like these. She hid her face in her hands. It was cold, but nothing out of the ordinary. Summer was fading into autumn and as soon as night arrived, there was no mistaking it. The warmth faded too quickly.

“I don’t know,” she said, pressing her face against her barely exposed knees. Her dress, once a symbol of wealth and power, now was but a detriment during their travels. Scattered rips took place of missing jewels which were taken off as a measure to hide her identity. The fabric was tearing at the ends and her boots were becoming worn. Her skin, almost a porcelain white, was covered in goosebumps. The young woman would have put on a coat, had she the time to put it on in the last town she and her companion had stopped in, but word traveled faster than they did and the villagers knew they were en route. They had to leave just as quickly as they arrived. She would not let herself shiver, however. Not in front of him. Not while he’s looking. This defiant pride was in direct contrast with her tone. Her words were meant to be roars, but they came out as whimpers. “What can we do?”

“We can keep moving. The only way to get through hell is to start walking,” he smirked, jumping to his feet. It was almost a trademark. That crooked smile and focused eyes. The very same look she saw the night they met. He was cocky, but clueless. But she didn’t mind. She never did. She gazed at the figure standing above her. He folded arms and peered down at her. He stood tall with his shoulders straight, his hair just barely grazing them. Her mind was immediately filled with questions. How could he be so calm? How could he not tire of this? she asked herself. She stretched her limbs and used her arms to support herself as she leaned back on the ledge.

“We’ve been on our feet for hours. That last battle was too close to call. How could you still want to keep going?” she said, lifting her head to look at him. His face was still covered in sweat from running. She examined the rips in his in his pants and his white tunic. Spots of dried blood were scattered on his leather jacket that draped down to his knees. He rolled the sleeves to his elbow and folded his arms again. He had removed a flask from the inside of his vest and handed it to her. The moon reflected on the metallic surface. A butterfly was emblazoned onto its surface. It was the insignia of the royal family. Though it was stolen, or a "souvenir" as he called it, it reminded her of simpler times. She thought of nights in her city. Memories of running around the city she had known her entire life filled her head. But now, they were running from the city. They were running from everything.

She smiled in return. “I wish to rest for the night,” she declared, after taking a swig from the flask. He looked at her directly in her eyes, as if to search even deeper than the surface for what she really meant. Her gaze turned into a narrow focus as their eyes locked. He closed his eyes with a deep breath and nodded. He extended his hand to her and she placed hers gently into his. He bowed to her and pressed his lips gently to the backside of her hand. A rush of warmth ran straight from her hand and radiated towards the rest of her body. Her eyes opened wide as she watched him stand tall again. Even in the pale moonlight, she could not hide a blush. “As you wish, Princess,” he said with a grin. “Once we reach the next forest. We should find ample shelter there.”

Princess. She left that title as soon as they broke through city walls. Now he used it as a nickname for her. It stung like salt in a wound, but it wasn’t as bad when she heard it from him. When he said it, there was a certain kind of dignity that came along with it. There was no mockery or shame. Instead, there was an unmistakeable kindness in his voice. “Let’s not get cheeky, Durant,” she said folding her arms and walking forward in front of him to hide her beaming face. He followed behind after taking a swig from his flask.

The two followed the road into a mountainside forest. There was a trail that cut straight through the middle, but they didn’t have the luxury of being able to rest in plain sight. They cut deeper into the forest, trying to leave as few tracks as possible. They reached the mouth of a river on the side of the mountain. “We stop here for tonight,” she said. He kept a chuckle to himself. He admired this side of her. As confident as he made himself out to be, he never really knew what to do for the most part. He was always the type to think on his feet. The Princess, however, always had to be one step ahead. She always has a plan for everything, he thought.

They began to unload their equipment. They brought only things that they could carry and with the clothes on their backs, they could not carry too much. He had a small knapsack strapped to his back with money, a deck of cards, a music box, and a blanket. She walked over to a patch of grass near the river and knelt down to touch it. She traced her fingers along the grass. She completed an entire ring on the patch of grass and it started to illuminate into a glowing bright green. The grass began to creep higher and higher. It barely covered her feet but now it reached to her knees. The light emanating from the grass faded. She sifted her right hand through the grass. Leaning in closer, she pressed the blades onto her face, saw that it was soft and crawled into it.

He watched from the river. Durant vigorously scrubbed his jacket with his shirt in the water to wash off spots of his own blood. His actions began to slow and eventually, they stopped. He was mesmerized as he watched as the petite figure press the grass down and curl up. His usual grin grew bigger into a smile. He let out a quiet sigh and set his vest down next to his boots. He unrolled his pant legs and sat next to the princess’ makeshift bed. “I never get tired of seeing that,” he joked.

She opened her eyes and smiled. “Well, I never get tired of being warm,” she retorted nudging his leg with her foot. He rolled his eyes.

“Let’s not get cheeky, Princess,” he smiled as he stood up. He walked to the nearest tree and held both hands out. The Princess sat up cross legged and watched intently as Durant took a deep breath. Both his hands began to shine white and soon his left hand turned blue and was covered in sparks. His right hand began to glow red and was surrounded by flames. He looked back with a smirk at the princess who feigned disinterest. He brought his hands together and a light shot from his hands in front of him. The light began to fade, but in its place was a blade that still shone with a luminescent blue and red, split down the middle. He walked towards the nearest tree and jumped, swinging at the lowest hanging branch. He cursed his height, or the lack of, under his breath. The princess laughed quietly to herself. “A little help?” he asked.

“Say please,” the princess teased.

“May I beg of your assistance, your highness?” he said bowing sarcastically.

“I guess it’ll do,” she smiled as she pressed her hand into the ground. A light shone from her hand and shot from her fingers along the ground to the tree. A vine descended from the leaves until it hit the ground. Durant mimed tipping his hat and climbed up the vine. He hung from the vine and swung at the branch. He blade made a clean slice through the branch. It fell to the ground as he started to descend. With a quick wrist flick, she waved her finger through the air and the vine snagged the weary traveler’s foot. With a similar motion, the vine began to retract into the tree, leaving Durant hanging upside down by his leg.

“What are you doing?” he whispered as he struggled to get down.

“Oh, my! My sincerest apologies, m’lord. I’m still learning,” she said trying to stifle her laughter.

“Don’t give me any of that! Lemme down!”

“If you wish,” she said. She waved her finger once more and the vine untangled itself. Durant fell from the vine and had his fall broken by the branch he cut down. He gathered his composure and dusted himself off. He looked at the princess who looked too comfortable in her bed of grass. He clasped his hands together again to summon his blade and cut the branch into pieces. After gathering stones from the river to create a pit, he carefully placed the wood together. He pressed his hand on the wood as it turned orange once again. Immediately, the logs caught fire. He looked toward the princess with a smug look on his face.

She laid stretched out on her back. Her pointed nose facing the sky, she turned slowly onto her side. The orange shimmer of the fire lit up her face. He laid on the opposite side of the fire and stretched out his legs, still staring at the quiet princess. Like a doll, he thought. He brought himself to his feet and grabbed his bag. He pulled the blanket out and placed it on the princess. Her eyes opened. “Thank you, Durant,” she whispered.

“It might as well be yours,” he shrugged. He walked towards the closest tree and sat at its base. She turned towards him with her back to the fire. He reached behind him and pulled out his flask. He took a sip and noticed the staring princess. “Want some?” he said, extending his hand holding out the flask. She shook her head. “Fair enough,” he said before taking another sip.

“Tell me about Aldornir,” she asked, eyes glowing.

“What, you can’t sleep without me telling you no?” he snapped.

“Well, I want to know. I’ve never left Atelia.”

“We’ve visited three towns so far. Aren’t you getting your fill?”

“None of those visits were actually visits! I would have loved to stay for longer than however long it took for either of us to be discovered.”

“Well, maybe if you told them that you were the princess, we could find a place to stay,” he grinned, closing his eyes.

“Such as the local gallows? I wouldn’t dare think that it is as comfortable as it sounds.”

“Well, miss, I don’t think that would be my issue, actually. They’d take you, not me,” he said bending his knees and resting his arms on them.

“But if they did what, what of your journey back to Aldonir?”

“I’d be going for the sake of going home then.”

“But where would you be without me?” she said with skeptical eyes.

“Probably in a tavern a few towns back,” he joked.

“But would you rather be in some tavern alone? Or would you rather be alone with me?” she said coyly. His eyes opened just a little wider to look at her. He saw the silhouette of her figure before him. His eyes traced the shape of her feet, up to her legs, waist, chest, and head. He felt his heart race. He was getting lost in the haze of his drink. Or was it that even? He took a long drawn out breath and closed his eyes once again.

“I would rather be asleep right now,” he said folding his arms.

“If you wish,” she smiled, turning away from him.

Time slowly passed. The princess began to breathe slower and eventually nodded off. Durant waited until she fell asleep to let himself succumb to slumber. He took one last swig from his flask and smiled.

“To the kingdom, I lay down my hands,” he said sarcastically. “And to the gods, my life.”
 

KingdomKey

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I really like this story of yours, and it was written very well. I couldn't stop reading it once I got started. I'd like to know why these two are on the run, and I'm curious what kind of friendship/relationship will be between Durant and the Princess. I look to forward to finding out. You definitely got yourself a fan. :D
 
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