This week's prompt is in honor of the last week of NaNoWriMo.

The Prompt

They'd come a long way, but their goal was finally in sight.

The Judge

This week yours truly will be doing the judging.

The Rules

  1. Story must continue from the prompt. (This means the prompt is the first sentence of the story.)
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an unexpected genre will get you more points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday Noon EST
  5. The winner of each week's competition will be invited to judge the following week and post the winner's badge similar to the one on the right.
  6. Have fun!

11/28/2011 04:20:21 am

They'd come a long way, but their goal was finally in sight. The valley of Renatus lay just over this ridge. The child grasped tightly in the makeshift carrier shivered in the cool mountain air against her father’s chest as he gripped her tighter sharing his warmth.
“How is she today Petrus?” asked the mother “I can carry her today.”
“She is the same Claudia but soon she will be well. We have taken the sacred journey and the Gods will hear us and save our child.”
“The God’s hear our prayers and save our child. She has no fever?”
“No the cool air has stolen that from her and keeps her stable we will triumph.” Petrus reassured Claudia.
“She will grow strong and marry Tiberius’ son.”
“We are not far, eat wife. You will be no good to our daughter without food and rest.”
“I have rested let me feel her next to me.”
“You shall carry her later. You may hold her while I eat but I will carry her down into the valley. It is not long now.
“Yes Petrus I know you are correct.”
As they entered the valley a creature stood before them. It’s long neck was not unlike a goose’s and the rest of its body like a bird as it had wings but it was the size of an elephant and Claudia was afraid as it first roared at them then demanded in a human voice.
“Why do you seek the Valley of Renatus?”
“Noble Dragon we seek to restore our daughter Amelia’s good health.” Petrus stated bravely.
“And what do you offer us for the restoration?”
“We offer our own lives if you should but restore our child to good health.”
“And do you agree Claudia?” the dragon asked
“He knows my name.” Claudia said stunned then realizing an answer was required she answered “I would give my life for my child.”
“Come into the village then.” the dragon said turning into a man .He glowed a hallo around his being as he stood in his white robe and long flowing brown hair.
The entered the village afraid. If their child lived they would give their own lives.
Claudia and Petrus trudged behind the being until he came to a stop.
“Give me the child.” The being demanded.
Petrus and Claudia kissed their daughter and said “Be well, be happy, and live a long life Amelia.”
Then Petrus gave the child.
The being then took Amelia in his arms, glowing so bright that they could not look. A few minutes later they head Amelia first gurgle then laugh.
Petrus and Claudia came before the being.
“Thank you” they both said “Will this hurt?
“Will what hurt?”
“As you were willing to give your lives for your child so am I willing to give you your lives. Live long and prosper.”
In an instant they found themselves a thousand miles away in their village but they never forgot how lucky they were.
499 words

11/28/2011 04:25:02 am

They’d come a long way, but their goal was finally in sight. Radkin Fallborn stood atop the mountain ridge, his cloak flapping in the wind, and shielded his eyes as he looked toward the setting sun. It was almost too late. Down below a figure on horseback could be seen racing across the plains, its robes flying out behind as it sped towards the approaching night.

If the dark mage could survive long enough to see the night, his powers would peak and this band of warriors would be helpless to stop him or her from escaping.

“Archers,” Radkin called.

Two dozen men and women stepped up to the ridge behind their commander, bows being bent and strung as they did so.

“Raven,” the commander said.

A young, thin girl stepped forward. Although her frame was light, she was tall. Her hair was so black it shimmered in the diminishing sunlight turning the red-gold to blue. Her high cheekbones and stern countenance could seem haughty were it not for the fullness of her lips and the ease with which they often smiled.

“My lord,” she said as she stepped beside him.

“The sun is setting behind the far mountains,” he said, pointing towards the mountain ridge on the far side. The blood red disc of the sun was just beginning to dip behind the very tallest peaks.

“Below,” he continued, “where the sun’s light is cut off by the mountain range, the day is dying.”

Raven looked to where Radkin pointed. Where the shadows cast by the distant mountain range touched the plains, night was falling. From their vantage point, the line of darkness could be seen advancing across the plain towards them as the sun sank lower.

“There,” Radkin said, indicating a point just before the line of darkness, “rides the dark mage.”

Raven’s intestines tightened as she saw the distance: over three hundred yards already.

“Arrows!” she called.

Her hands and arms moved reflexively drawing an arrow from the quiver on her back, the other archers followed suit. In one swift motion two dozen bows were raised skyward, their arches swaying in unison from center to left mimicking the angle and lean of Raven’s bow.

Below the dust trail was driven horizontal by the wind as rider and darkness raced towards collision.

Radkin grunted and for an instant Raven cast her eyes in his direction.

With a flick of his dagger a lock of Radkin’s hair fell, leaving an inch long bang.

It was both a challenge and a sign of confidence.

Should the archers miss, all of them would have to shave their heads to the length of the remaining bang. Radkin included.

Eyes front, her shaft flew. Instantaneously two dozen shafts followed, rising, blurring into the air, moving as would a murmuration of swallows. Wind gusts, left, right.

“One day,” Raven said as she turned away from the plains below, “I’m going to miss just to see your head shaved.”

Radkin snorted, barking a laugh.

In the distance the dark mage and its horse crumpled to the ground.

500 Words (after prompt)


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