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|The first chapter of a future novel. It gets more epic I promise. For all those who don't know their talents. Please comment!||
Tamryn knew that Penchant and Whisper weren’t her real parents, which meant she knew she wasn’t a goblin. She knew she definitely wasn’t human. What she didn’t know was that on her sixteenth birthday, life, as she knew it would change forever.
Her birthday fell on a marketing day, so her parents thought it would be a nice treat for Tamryn to come with them and the others to the small town market where they traded. The tribe that their goblin village belonged to was a Belni clan, so they normally got a fair deal. Though the tribe was restricted to the Forest, the human village was not far off the edge and Tamryn enjoyed the walk. She took a sack from her mother as they exited the family hovel.
“Please allow me, Mother. You know how your back is.”
Whisper looked up at her considerate daughter, “Why thank you, dear. You’ve grown into such a fine young woman.”
“Oh Mother, don’t start crying like you did last year. It’s not like I’m leaving,” said Tamryn. She kissed her mother’s brown, wrinkled nose. They joined the procession of the other goblin merchants going to the human village. They were all gossiping and joking with each other. Whisper saw her husband Penchant talking to a farmer and she went to join them. Tamryn kept at the back, watching all her friends and family. Then the feeling hit again, the feeling that she didn’t really belong to this life, no matter how long she had been a part of it. She felt that there was something more for her, outside the life she lead, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to leave it yet. They group passed by a waterfall, and Tamryn stopped and looked at her reflection in the water. It was plain to see that though she had been raised by goblins, she was not one. Her goblin parents were short, brown-skinned, and crooked like an old willow tree. Their hair was stringy and dead brown, and they had flashing violet eyes and yellow teeth. Tamryn could not have been more different. She was tall like a human, and had the slender body and shapely face of an attractive human girl, but there were things about her appearance that made her not quite human. For one thing, she had a tail. It was long, bushy, and deep red with a white tip, exactly like a fox. It matched her hair, which was long, thick, and red with a white tip. Her ears were long and conical like a fox. They rose from her head covered in red fur with black at the tips. The skin color on her nose was a triangle of black amid the pale cream of the rest of her face. She had thicker and longer fingernails than normal, almost claws. She had near fangs that kept her smile from being completely human. She wore plain tan clothes and the Brown Goatskin cloak that goblins were required by law to wear. It was the one outside quality she had in common with her family. But Penchant and Whisper had brought up their only daughter well. She was kind, intelligent, loving, and faithful. Tamryn and her family were respectful of the Goblin Restriction Laws and understood them. They were in place so the Malni clans could no longer wage war on the humans. Because of the laws, goblins have been mainly ignored by the humans for many years. Werewolves, with their attacking and pillaging of towns, were now the human’s chief concern. The goblins didn’t worry much because they were too poor and lived too far in the wild for the rogues to care.
“Tamryn!” a voice called from beyond the waterfall, pulling Tamryn from her reverie. It was Temper, a young goblin and friend of hers. He was cocking his head at her quizzically and was out of breath. “Tamryn, your father says that he doesn’t mind you lagging behind as long as he gets that second sack of candles to sell.”
Tamryn laughed as she realized she had been left behind. “Oh I’m coming,” she said. “The question is if you can keep up with me.” Tamryn took off running down the trail with Temper close behind.
“Watch out Red Tail,” He said, calling her by her child nickname. “I’m just getting my second wind.”
Tamryn grinned back at him, “Are you sure you didn’t just break wind a second time Cauldron Belly?” They raced and joked until the human village was just a creek and a copse of trees away, but the normal sound of merchants arguing and other market sounds did not greet them on the breeze. It was the sound of screams and things breaking punctuated by shrill, blood-curdling howls.
“Werewolves, Here?” Temper said in voiceless shock. Tamryn could smell smoke and could barely see small feathers of flame dance in windows.
“Run back. Tell the others.” She said to Temper with a calmness she did not feel. He backed away a few steps, then turned and disappeared into the forest. Tamryn swallowed hard and ran to the first house. She leapt, grasped the eaves, and swung herself onto the ridgepole. It was then Tamryn got her first real glimpse of the werewolf raid. It had not gone on for long, only one or two houses and tents were aflame. She counted eleven werewolves. Three were chasing humans and goblins around the center square with spears. Two were fighting with a heavy-set man wielding an axe. Four were trying to break into a large house with people panicking inside. Another couple of werewolves were setting a merchant goblin’s cart on fire. Then the ridgepole shook so suddenly that Tamryn had to crouch to regain her balance. She looked to her right to see a pair of werewolf legs in a low fighter’s stance on the roof. The legs grew into a pair of faded blue trousers. The werewolf’s bare chest grew from the trousers. His chest rose and fell from heavy, angered breath and his rippling muscles were covered in a thin veil of silver fur. His enormous arms and clawed hands were extended towards her, ready to kill. His head was lowered, with his ridge of silver hair kept out of his face by a crimson sash. The hideous combination of human and lupine features was contorted into an enraged snarl. And those eyes; those powerful yellow eyes looked deep into hers and drank the fear he found there.
“And what might you be?” the werewolf asked in his deep, raspy voice. He smirked. “Dead, soon enough.”
When his feet left the roof, Tamryn remembered the sack still on her back. Fluidly, she took it off her shoulder and pitched it at the werewolf’s torso as he hurdled towards her. He doubled in the air and fell down to the ground with a yelp. Tamryn vaulted off the roof and landed on her feet on the cobblestones. She kept low, looking and listening in the chaos. Her mother’s piercing cry rose above the others. Tamryn looked to a merchant tent to see her father pinned to the ground by a werewolf with a knife in his hand. Before thinking, Tamryn sprinted up behind the werewolf. She grabbed his neck, digging her claws into the brown fur. Her other hand grabbed his shoulder, and then she lifted him from the ground and threw him into a vegetable cart. Before she could help her father, another werewolf charged at her. She ducked his spear and twisted his arm out of socket like turning a handle. She tossed him into the vegetable cart on top of his partner. Tamryn hissed and growled at her enemies sounds she did not know she could make. Other werewolves stopped pillaging for a moment to see this new, daring challenger. Some aided their injured comrades, which they didn’t appreciate. A jet-black werewolf came from nowhere and rammed Tamryn against a tent pole. She half slid, half pushed herself away from her attacker. When he tried to advance, she swung her clawed hand at his head, leaving four large red stripes across the side of his face. Another black werewolf came at her side, and when she pushed him away, he lost his footing and fell on the wrong side of a pitchfork. The scratched werewolf stared in awe at his dying brother, and in terror at Tamryn.
“It’s The One!” he yelled, “Fall back! She’s the Fox Child!” The others heard his call and ran back into the wilderness from whence they came. They took the hurt werewolves, but left the dead one. The one she scratched was the last to leave, his eyes never leaving Tamryn.
Tamryn stood frozen and breathless. She looked at the dead werewolf and her own hand dripping with the blood of another. What had she become? How could she, never taking part in any real violence, know how to fight like an experienced warrior, know how to kill? Something wet ran down her cheek. Was she bleeding? No, she was crying. She looked around. Not too many people seemed to be hurt. Most people were either looking at her or looking at what used to be their property. There was a lot of damage, but it could be worse. Her father sat on the ground and stared blankly. The heavy man Tamryn had seen before walked up to their tent. His arm was severely wounded, and he was leaning on his axe. He looked at Tamryn, then at Penchant meaningfully. Whisper walked to her husband and put her hand gently on his shoulder.
“Now we have to tell her,” she said.
End of Chapter 1
|Tears of the Widows||Twice saved, twice surprised|
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