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Here we have it. A new and exclusive Vahro piece. This will NOT be appearing in the novel. This is purely exclusive to Elfwood.
This is the lead up to the novel and will give you a little taste of the opening two chapters and the main storyline of the novel.
Please leave lots of help and advice and thoughts but most of all enjoy. This is a thank you for all of your help on my other pieces.
Recommended Listening: Anywhere by Evanescence.
There was no way he could stay here any longer.
Fourteen years old and wrought with fear, Vahro lay wide awake. The hut, which he shared with Belicia and their elder guardian, was silent. Both women were asleep and had been for a good long while. Only nerves had pinned him down for so long. In the humidity of midsummer, his heart pounded and he was sweating terribly.
Time to go.
He had spent the day preparing, unknown to his sister. Even the thought of the word sister brought him heartache. For Belicia was not his sister; that was what this incident had taught him. She was a creature of grace and virtue and purity. Human, was all he was; corruptible, taintable, disposable. The darkness she had seen had simply proven this.
Looking at her now – even though she lay in her cot with her back to the rest of the room – she stood for everything he could not achieve. Since she had entered her fifteenth year, her downy feathers had completely shed, revealing her gossamer wings beneath. He gazed at them now from his make-shift mattress that the elders bid him sleep on. In the darkness of the night, he could only make out partial colours but he knew them by heart anyway; blue into violet, violet into pink, with all shades in between.
They were far too different.
As for the boy, Vahro; he was changing in ways that no-one here could possibly explain to him, or would, as the case may be when it came to the awkward Elders. He was becoming a man in a land of females. He was sprouting hair in the strangest places, his limbs and shoulders ached from growth, his voice could not decide which pitch it favoured from one day to the next and, to make things just that little bit worse, since his unfortunate night-time accident a few months ago, the Pixan elders now watched him like a hawk. He was not allowed alone with a girl for any amount of time without another woman present. Even Belicia, whom he had shared a hut with since he could sleep through the night.
However, it was not just the physical differences that bothered him though. Puberty was developing Belicia’s skills as well as her body. She was becoming a seeress. Granted, she had always seen little snippets of things to come throughout growing up, but now she was communing with the Fates. They were revealing secrets to her, teaching her tricks and, altogether, leaving Vahro behind.
Tears stung at his crystal blue eyes as the day’s events replayed yet again in his head. Belicia and her stupid party tricks. Her need for attention drawing everyone in to see her scrying for Vahro; projecting an image of the future onto the surface of a bowl of water. Come see! Come see! she had laughed, gathering her many, many friends around – most of whom came for a swoon at Vahro, but still, they came. But when the clear pool turned black, it was not surprising that a great number of the girls slunk away. No more giggles.
Darkness in your future can only be interpreted one way, Vahro had decided on that and there was no way he was going to let that happen. Especially not here, in the colony that had adopted the orphan, named him and brought him up like one of their own. Well, Prainee, the immortal origins of the Pixans, had, even if the Elders had protested. He had outstayed his welcome here. The Elders had never wanted him near Prainee’s Well in the first place. He had heard them when they thought he was out of earshot, or when they spoke in Pixan – ignorantly assuming that the human boy did not understand them – humans did not belong on such blessed ground. And now the younger girls were terrified of him. For this emotional and confused young man, there was only one choice.
Sitting up in the dark and silent hut, he readied himself. The old one was snoring loudly in her chair, where she had been assigned to monitor the boy. Stupid old bat. Flattening himself across the floor, he stretched an arm out under Belicia’s cot, grasping the bag he had packed and hidden this afternoon. For a fleeting moment, he panicked. Should he pull the bag out quickly and make one short but loud noise or drag it slowly, making a long, low disturbance. Taking a breath and muttering a quick plea to his chosen deity, he gave a sharp tug and the worked leather slid smoothly into his arms. Clearly, at least one of the Gods favoured his chances. A sigh of relief was all that was heard.
He had gone to bed fully dressed; boots and all. Standing, he surveyed the hut once again, storing its images in his mind and preparing to forget it. He pulled back his blankets to reveal his cloak and blade. “Grattir Destonae;” Little Warrior. His coming-of-age gift and all he had in the world. It felt heavy in his hand and he had still not mastered its art but he would, oh how he would. He would carve out his destiny by the edge of a sword, slay demons and vanquish monsters, save maidens and show the world that this hero’s name was “Vahro.” And prove his fortune-teller sister wrong. With one final glance over his shoulder, he pushed back the tan curtain and left the hut.
One last thing to do. He went to the well. It was a typical stone well, about waist height with a wooden roof containing the pulley mechanism. Vahro looked to the solid gold eagle which stood, wings splayed, on the roof’s apex. Prainee’s messenger. He watched it carefully, ensuring it was resting and was not waiting to alert the entire tribe to his escape. Satisfied, he fished into his shirt to retrieve a small piece of treated wood, which signified his place within the Pixan community, hanging around his neck. This had to go. He pulled the leather thread over his head and studied the symbol for the last time. It was a glorious Pixan Laesonna tree; one of which each and every Pixan was attached to and reflected their own life-force. It mocked him with its slender trunk and long, drooping branches. His life was a sham, a joke, a failure. Down the well went the symbol.
Forcing back the pain, the tears, the anger, the sorrow, Vahro ran out of the Pixan clearing and into the dark, gaping maw of isolation.
In her long elegant gown, Prainee stood at the well, watching. Her lengthy, silver locks had been pulled up into a carefully placed bun, revealing her wise face to the world. Floating on the tip of a blade of grass, she held her hand over the mouth of the well, beckoning it to her. Something rose through the water, gliding through the air to finally rest in her palm. Regal fingers tightened around it, cold and wet.
“Arrifer, vu cio,” she whispered into the forest before her; Goodbye, my son.
Behind her, Belicia burst through the curtain of her hut, tears streaming from her bright blue eyes. She was screaming at the top of her lungs as she collapsed on the ground. Someone had taken her brother.
|Flashes: Episode Two: The First||Warrior's Playroom|
|Learning to Cry||Assassins|
|Calm of the Waters||On the Forest Floor|