Since meeting Faye I learned about microfiction and ended up writing this post for her amazing blog Writerology. Thanks to her I've found a new love of writing short spouts of stories and leaving them open ended. This is something I put together as a sort of side project for a novel I have abandoned but hoping to bring back to life soon.
Elise looked around her. Three guards had come into the clearing in which she now hid and were looking for her. She may be out in the open but she wasn't free of their tail yet. She wasn't sure she ever would be. The guards had been following her since the beginning, always one step behind her. She nearly completed her goal. Elise knew that what she was doing was illegal and if they found her, she would be killed. Probably in front of everyone outside the castle to be made an example of.
Elise would have to be very stealthy to get out of this mess. They knew she was hidden somewhere but they didn't know where. The guards had spread out so there was no exit, they had made it was a dead end. There was a dead man in the middle of the clearing, the cliffs creating a horse shoe shape around the back of her. One way in, one way out. Would be a clever place to defend, thought Elise, if there was ever a cause to take over the small house or stop intruders coming onto the grounds. However, unfortunately for the guards trying to find her, she was too good.
Elise crept around the left side of the house, she could see a small escape route through there middle of them all, it was risky butwas nearly out. Just a couple more steps and She could make a run for it. Elise tucked the book under her arm and took another step forward. Crack. She looked down, broken branch, such a novice move. The closet guard to her looks in her direction almost immediately and sees her. Elise noticed him out of the corner of her eye, it was Darius, she doesn't even hesitate as she starts to make a run for it. She bolts out from the long grass, straight out towards the exit. She ducks under someone's arm, jumps over a fallen crate and doesn't look back.
Running is a hard task, Elise didn't know how long she could keep it up. It wasn't as if she knew where she was going either, and with Darius hot on her tail she didn't have very many options. Scanning her surroundings as she flee’d she spotted an opening through the trees to her left and changed her course of direction. Elise was out of breath by the time she had gotten away from Darius. The Academy would not be pleased he had nearly caught her slicing that mans throat open, but she didn't let him see enough of her before she hid to recognise her if he ever saw her again. At least she got the book, she wouldn't have killed the man if Darius and his minions hadn't arrived. Elise merely had him by the throat to get him to give her the book. When they showed up She panicked nicked the mans artery and hid. She didn't even know who he was.
What was She supposed to do get caught? No. She would run and take however many lashings they felt necessary. They are trained to survive, trained to kill and trained in magic. Elise the best at all three and they know it.
Magic is banned here. The Lord of Trachelm, Horhay, was forced to watch his mother burned to death by a Mage with the power of fire. After that the boarder was put up separating us from the other realms and magic was outlawed. although still practiced in secret anyone caught would be executed. Elise wondered if they even knew about the fact The Academy teaches magic right under their nose, all be it in the basement. The mages who had lived in Tachelm before the death of the queen had all but scattered when Horhay sent his forces out to kill anyone who practiced magic, even if they were innocent. He saw magic as evil and they descended from the mountains down to the bay, like a plague of locusts and destroyed everyone that wasn't under his reign.
Elise stopped running just as She got to the next village, to not look suspicious. She hadn't used magic to escape purely because of where she was. Too many people around they would notice, and if she had used magic they would never have given up. Elise would be tortured until she told them that there was a secret facility in the basement of the guards compound and if she didn't tell them... Elise would be beheaded just to make an example to the rest of the realm.
There weren't many people around. A few women in their gardens, hanging out washing and milking their goats. There was a farmer to her left chopping wood while his son sheared his sheep. As Elise walked trough they merely turned their heads and nodded towards her in acknowledgement to which she nodded back. People were polite in this village, thought Elise. She stopped outside the inn next to a woman and her son, "excuse me, do you know if there are any rooms available?"
She looked up at her and smiled, "of course dear, it's 5 crowns a night." Her voice was soft and motherly. She ushered her child into the building and beckoned Elise to follow, "come we will show you to your room."
Once inside you could see the Inn wasn’t one of the best around. There was a bar to left with a variety of ales, beers and ciders, it was a working man’s tavern downstairs. A few tables to the left with seats and a warm fire at the back of the open plan room. The stairs were by the door and once upstairs She could see there were only five rooms, four were rentable. It seemed one was already occupied by the current resident bard so Elise picked the one nearest the stairs with a window, an escape route should she ever need it. Elise thanked the lady for her kind efforts and smiled at her son before she shut the door. It felt nice to relax for a few moments.
The relaxation didn't last long. Only an hour had passed before She woke to voices outside the door. They were muffled but Elise could make out some words...
"...is she here...upstairs?" Came the first voice.
"I...talking about. What.... What girl?" The lady who ran the working mans tavern was covering for her, although she didn't know why so, quickly, she gathered her things and opened the window. Upon looking out Elise found two horses bearing the banners of the Birkin.
The Birkin are not people that you want coming after you. They’re brutal, and the Academy’s finest warriors. She was in very big trouble if they had sent them after her. They had sent her out over a week ago to retrieve the book. She didn’t even know what the book was about and now it seemed she wouldn't never find out - unless they told her.
It was a quick decision to hop out of the window and land silently in the bushes just underneath. She looked around but there were no-one by the horses and the residents in the village were not paying any attention to her. Elise silently unhooked one of the horses rains from the hold and walked it round the side of the tavern. It was a small opening between the stable and the tavern just enough for two people to walk down. Elise saddled up and was about to dig her heels into the stallion when the back door of the tavern burst open and she was faced with the two men who has been sent here to get her. She had only ever heard stories about the Birkin but now there were two men in front of her wearing black uniforms with red edging and engraved on the left breast was a dragon circled around a golden oval shaped stone. Before she could think about turning around or jumping off the horse the second man, a tall, olive skinned toned muscular man pulled out a pipe and blew into it sending a dart straight into the base of her neck causing her to black out and fall from the saddle.
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Copyright RS Williams, Little Novelist. All Rights Reserved.