I finally get to share with you the first snippet of my work in progress, Faith. To know more about the story and it's progress you can go to our, "Work's in Progress" page.
I hope you enjoy! I can't wait to hear your thoughts :) I've had a fun time writing this up.
*Side note* For some reason when I transferred the snippet from word to blogger, there was a space put between every new paragraph. I had to go through and estimate the indents then, so I apologize if it doesn't look right.
Alynn gripped the edge of their dinner table tightly, her knuckles growing white with fear as she listened to her dad’s horrifying news.
Alynn’s mom’s eyebrows tilted in with worry.
“They came at night with dragons. The dragons burned the houses while men stole valuable possessions and took survivors away,” her dad continued.
“Will they come to us?” Alynn’s younger sixteen year old sister, Enna, questioned.
“So far they have only been raiding major towns and villages,” her dad announced, “But, it never hurts to take precautions. We’ll start putting some in place by the end of this week. I will do everything to keep you alive.”
The room grew silent; everyone was still. Her mom’s face was pale, and her dad looked grim. Enna sat quietly, her gaze directed towards the floor. Alynn stiffened and clenched her jaw. She ran outside grabbing her book on the way. She sat on the steps beside her house as the wind blew around her skirt, and her pale skin welcomed the warmth of the afternoon sun. Alynn opened her book, but she couldn’t read with all the worries on her mind. What if the raiders DO come? What will happen to us? And what of the dragons? Are they scary? Does it hurt to be burned? Or to die? Alynn felt like crying, but no tears came. She buried her face in her lap, as if hiding would shut her out from the troubles of the world. At a footstep behind her she lifted her face from her lap. Enna sat down beside her.
“I’m scared,” Alynn confessed.
“I know,” Enna said, and then added, “It’ll be okay.”
They both looked out to their surroundings. Around them were children playing with a ball, kicking it back and forth, and straight ahead was the forest of Caralel. There were many stories of the dangers in that forest, but no one knew which of those were legends, or if the rumor of the evil inside was real.
Enna glanced at her sister, “At least we’re together.”
Alynn turned her head to meet her sister’s gaze, “But what if someone gets left behind? What if we lose each other? What if someone takes us?” her voice grew to a mere whisper as she said, “What if one of us gets killed?” Tears glimmered in her eyes as she struggled to keep her emotions in check, “I can’t lose you or Mom or Dad.”
Enna looked towards the horizon as the setting sun slowly sunk into the hills that looked like tiny anthills from far away. She watched as the children one by one responded to their mother’s calls and went inside. She sat there sitting beside her sister. Enna grabbed Alynn’s hand and intertwined it between her own, “It’s going to be okay, Alynn. God will watch over us.”
Alynn leaned her head against Enna’s shoulder and sighed, “I hope you’re right.”
Every sound that night got on Alynn’s nerves. She jumped when her mother came into her room, and she ran to the window every time she heard a shout or cry, thinking it was the raiders. Alynn sat by their window, keeping watch over the village. She took a few deep breaths to keep her body relaxed, “Lord, please keep us safe. Please don’t let the raiders come. Please don’t separate me from my family.” She knew she was overreacting, for who would even think of raiding a village so small? Her head grew heavy and eventually rolled to her side as her eyes shut and she fell asleep.
Chaos. Fire. Screams. People crying. Men carrying swords and dragons breathing fire. Homes enveloped in flames. People running everywhere while trying to escape. Dragons with fire. Chaos. Complete chaos. Terror in the night.
Alynn jerked awake, sitting straight up, her breathing ragged and fast. She looked out the window. Everything was normal. People were just coming out of their houses, getting water, or feeding their animals. Alynn got dressed into a long sky blue skirt and paired it with a plain white top. She laced up her brown boots and walked down the stairs to find her family cooking breakfast together. Her family was safe. She was safe. The raiders had not come while she was sleeping. Safety.
“Go wash up in the river. Breakfast is nearly ready,” her mom said, giving Alynn a warm hug.
“Good morning, Mom,” Alynn replied. She hurried out the door and onto the dirt path that led to the river. After a minute or so of walking, she turned to find Enna running at top speed, hair and skirts waving in the air, kicking up clouds of dirt behind her.
“And that would be my sister,” Alynn remarked to herself. She stood on the path waiting for her to catch up.
“I thought I wouldn’t find you,” Enna said gasping for breath.
“You knew I was going to wash up, and this is the fastest way to the river,” Alynn pointed out, “It shouldn’t have been that hard.
“You weren’t as far away as I thought,” Enna sniffed, “Apparently much slower too,” she added slyly. Her brown eyes twinkled and danced as she let out a laugh.
Alynn turned away, “Why did you want to catch up to me so badly?”
“I’m always the one late for breakfast. You always arrive on time, so I thought it would be best to tag along with you.” Enna skipped playfully by Alynn’s side.
Alynn smirked, “Oh really? Race you to the river!” With that Alynn took off, leaving Enna standing on the path. Determined to not be beaten, Enna took off and focused on her sister’s figure not too far ahead. At the river she slipped into a giant mud puddle with a shriek.
“I… Beat… You!” Alynn panted.
“No, you didn’t!” Enna protested, sputtering in the mud.
“Fine, you did beat me...” Alynn was interrupted by Enna’s, “Ha!”
“…in being the messiest!” Alynn finished with a satisfying grin on her face seeing Enna in the midst of the filthy mud.
Enna reviewed herself. Her skin was grimy, her long dark hair was a tangled mess, and her skirt was splattered with a mix of mud and dirt. Enna looked hopelessly at her sister. Even though Alynn was just a year older, she always seemed so much more mature. Her long blond hair was still nicely styled, and she had just finished wiping off the last bit dirt from her skirt. “Don’t tell Mom about my mess,” she pleaded, “I’ll find a way to sneak in and clean up without her seeing me. I’ll just carry a basin of water up to my room, get a new skirt from the rest of the clothesline, put my hair up….” Enna paused, realizing how impossible it was to do all of this before breakfast, considering how they already had wasted so much time.
“I’ll do more than that,” Alynn smiled sympathetically, “Let me help you clean up,” Alynn ran her fingers through Enna’s hair, sprinkling water on the tangled sections to help separate the knots. It was a long process. She expertly put up Enna’s hair, and helped wash off the mud. The girls walked back to the house. As soon as they entered, their mother questioned them.
“What could have ever taken you so long? I was beginning to get worried. I’m glad you’re okay,” She hugged both of them.
Alynn glanced sideways at Enna. I probably should have done something a bit simpler in her hair. She thought. It took way longer than I was thinking it would. She looked at their parent’s plates, the food almost gone, “Sorry for taking so long. We didn’t mean to; it was just nice spending some time together.”
"It’s okay,” said their mother, “What matters is that you are safe.”
Safe. There was that word again. For that short time in the morning the heaviness of her heart had disappeared. Raiders. Dragons. Fire. The heaviness returned. Her family was safe. That’s what mattered. Everything would be okay as long as she was with her family, right?
Thanks for reading!